Dubai Diaries: My very own Lost and Found

Kirstin Bernabe-Santos/Dubai
Filed on April 14, 2021

I hate seeing things lying around like nobody’s business, so the sooner I can get them out of sight, the better.

When I got married, I stopped asking myself the whys and wherefores of life — you know, the questions that bombarded millennial minds during their ‘quarter-life crisis’. Nagging concerns about the purpose of my existence fizzled out in the air, as they were easily dwarfed by two big questions that demanded instant answers every single day: ‘Love, where is my…?’ and ‘Have you seen my…?’

All of a sudden, I became my mother and my grandmother (and perhaps my great great grandmother, too) — the keepers of lost objects. It started the very first day we moved in together. “Where did you keep my phone charger again?” he asked. It was forgivable because we just unpacked and I handled most of the storage stuff. “In the box at the topmost shelf, sweetheart.” Soon enough, the romantic nicknames were dropped as the daily questions multiplied, ranging from keys to pens, eyeglasses, nail cutters, water bottles...you name it. I hate seeing things lying around like nobody’s business, so the sooner I can get them out of sight, the better. While I didn’t mind cleaning up, it became a marital problem because I miserably failed at remembering where I kept things. Imagine the chaos when he looked for an office USB, and I couldn’t give him an answer. “I just put it right here (pointing to a shelf in the bathroom). Please, where is it?” I needed a solution and so I asked Google. In seconds, I came across the brightest idea in the wizarding world of tidying up. Mums had apparently invented the ‘f***ket bucket’, a bin where you can just toss all the little things you pick up as you walk past a grand display of clutter on your shelves, tables, countertops. Off we went to a home store in Dubai and got ourselves our very own bucket of nothings. It was a game-changer. He stopped asking where things were because he knew instantly where I put them. “Chucked it right in the bucket,” I would tell him. But after some time, the bin turned into an overflowing jungle of clutter that could barely keep itself together. Cables were all tangled up, with their ends crawling up the basket like snakes. There were nuts and bolts, ballpen caps, paper clips, and receipts, too. Nope, it wasn’t sustainable. I felt like throwing everything away.

Then came our life-saver, a mini chest of drawers made of birch plywood. Its compartments came in three different sizes, so even if we were dropping random things inside, we were at least able to easily categorise them according to size. This meant tiny USBs and guitar picks don’t get eaten up by chunky laptop chargers. Life got so much easier as putting things in the right drawers became second nature to him. I, on the other hand, was relieved of the stress of having to mentally take note of where things were. It was the best thing we’ve ever bought in Dubai. Now, every time we see the miracle cabinet at the store, we can’t help but look at each other and smile. But then we were told, “Wait until the kids come along.”


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