While cleaning my kitchen this week, I also spent a not-so-short bit of time rearranging the items on my refrigerator door. A few years ago I saw an amazing grouping of photos posted edge to edge on the upper door of a refrigerator and instantly fell in love with the idea of celebrating the people in my life by displaying them in such an interesting place. Though I’ve held onto that idea all these years, I have never actually implemented it; but I am still a sucker for fridge “art,” and have slowly begun posting random bits of life paraphernalia on my freezer door. This week I took it to a new level and disposed of the many small notes containing recipe instructions, as well as the handful of take-out menus that are far too tempting when visible. What remained was a small assortment of sentimental items that I tried to artfully arrange. The result was a bit of surprise to me.
In removing all of the items to begin with a clean canvas, I decided to group all of my larger magnets together instead of using them to hold bits of paper. The magnets were moved to the side of the refrigerator, that which is visible upon entry to the kitchen, where I have arranged a grid of magnetic spice containers. At first, the grouping of magnets was simply for artistic expression, but then I realized that I had begun an actual “collection.” Each of the magnets represents a specific moment in my life, be it a trip to a new city or a beloved pop culture element or a gift from someone. Each has a story, and each evokes an emotion. Grouping them together makes a statement about me and my life and my interests. The realization of this makes me want to collect even more of these boxy little magnets! (Hint to family and friends: Think of me and this magnet collection as you visit new places and bring back souvenirs!)
I now have a new image in my mind — a refrigerator door covered in colorful little magnets from friends and family and travels and experiences. A conversation piece it would be, for certain, but more than this it would be a tangible expression of what makes me happy in this life. And that’s exactly what I’d like to see in every corner of my home.
Clockwise, from top left:
Chicago Transit Authority, purchased on my 1st trip to Chicago in 2000 out of great love for the El
Route 66, a gift from my parents this summer when they found themselves driving the infamous road
Stupid Is As Stupid Does, purchased in Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Navy Pier on that same first Chicago trip in 2000, it is a reminder of a full day spent with beloved cousins.
Kennedy for President, souvenir from this year’s birthday trip to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas
Wrigley Field, commemorating my first visit to the iconic site (with the same beloved cousins on that same Chicago trip)
Boba Fett, the ultimate symbol of my pop culture fascination, memorializing how it all began