The lights flickered a few nights ago and I decided I should test my flashlights, and, of course, they flickered, too. I needed AA and AAA batteries for most, so headed to my storage place for everything, my junk drawer. I have three drawers, one for me, one for Tom, and one that I am saving to dumbfound my kids when we both kick the bucket.

My drawer, which needs a day’s worth of Marie Kondo cleaning, was crammed with all kinds of useful items that must bring me joy, as I still have them. Besides the stash of office type supplies (pens, pencils, tape, staples, and paper clips), it held a magnetic refrigerator calendar from 2008, a six-foot chain that is either for a hanging lamp or tying up a dog (I’m not sure which), two dead flip phones, and a tangled nest of cords for forgotten electronics. I recently had added two masks, both of which have lipstick on them, one with a broken ear-string, but likely cleanable and fixable. But, alas, no batteries.

I then went through Tom’s drawer thinking he surely would have batteries. His equally stuffed drawer was more telling of him and what he enjoys. It held a similar stash of office supplies, plus four small rulers, a copy of the U.S. Constitution, miniature flags from Mexico and Fiji, packets of tissues, a small tin of aspirin (expiration date 1987), more cords, warranty for a golf cart that we sold twelve years ago, ski passes to Bogus Basin (from 2000 to 2016, when he stopped skiing), two golf balls, a handful of tees, and four copies of the rules of golf (1988, 2001, 2004, and 2015). His drawer defined him well: golfer, skier, traveler, and a person interested in rules. As a judge, he knew all about rules, but I still didn’t find any batteries.

I knew there would be no batteries in my third junk drawer as it is under construction but opened it anyway. It doesn’t have much in it, but what it does contain is oh-so-telling. We hope to use it to leave our kids wide-eyed and bushy tailed, pay-back for everything and anything that they have done to rankle Tom or me. It has a flask etched Woodstock 1969that I bought at a pawn shop. (Tom and I were both in the Marine Corps in California during Woodstock, so it was unlikely that we attended but they’ll need to figure that out.) A package of condoms with a 2022 expiration date (who over 70 uses condoms?) but it will make them wonder. A battered photo of Paul Newman signed, Thanks, Gail, Great Night. Love, Paul.And best of all…two safe deposit box keys labeled Bank…Gail and Bank…Tom. No bank listed. They’ll spend a lot of time on that one.

I ended up going to the store for batteries, thinking I needed a new drawer that would hold only batteries, but I’d probably forget which one it was and I’d just fill it up with more useless junk.