Goodbye tangled mess.

Corey Olsen

“Isn’t this the cord to the PS2? We don’t have a PS2 anymore. Or is this the cord to the photo printer?” I am in our home office talking to my husband, who has stopped listening. I don’t blame him.

We supposedly live in a wireless world, but we have a drawer full of cords. Most of the time I’m scared to look inside. The contents look back at me like cyber snakes. There are black cords, white cords, a thin, clear cord with even thinner colored cords inside. That one’s actually kind of pretty, but what does it click into? No one knows, and yet we can’t make ourselves toss them.

My husband has more cord-based gear than I do, and I feel certain that the cord I threw away is the one he needs right now to do this important thing for work. This is one of those tasks that are doubly difficult because they can’t be done solo. It’s not just cord culling; it’s a conversation. So it’s easy to put off. Who wants to spend quality time talking about cords?

Sometimes I have the conversation in my head in advance and realize, eh, I don’t want to use my relationship currency to pin my husband down on this project. It’s about as fulfilling as figuring out a new spice rack system. Sometimes I don’t want to have that conversation—or that marriage. Sometimes I just roll with it and let the spices fall (literally) where they may. So we do what we can.

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Recently we confronted the drawer, organizing and labeling the cords with painter’s tape and moving them into a pretty pink box from Ikea. It’s all very orderly—for now. But I know the cords will multiply, and when I tilt open the pink lid they will stare back like mean spaghetti, their labels gone, daring me to do something. And we will break for wine and then start again.

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