Where do old magnets go? - Denese Rodgers

I've always had magnets on my refrigerator. I think of them in the same context that I do makeup for my face. They're decorative. They give the refrigerator personality.

They make my plain, white Whirlpool do a little dance. They provide a haphazard and colorful record of where we've been and things we've done. I even, occasionally, put editorial cartoons on mine, or articles that pique my interest.

For years, I had Lewis Grizzard's, "Three New Yawk Flights" article up there. One of my friends went overboard with her magnets, and when she moved, she boxed and categorized them. I'm not that extreme just yet.

I've got some fun ones. I have one from New Orleans that is a can-can girl. I've also got voo-doo dolls, frogs, pictures, wind chimes, and every kind of kitty-cat magnet you can imagine.

I've even got a magnet of the two white tigers at Caesar's Palace. I've had and lost a dozen of the nifty beach magnets with the air fern -- the fern always dies, and I toss the magnet. The ménage is total clutter, totally worthless and mine, all mine.

Now our current house is the one we've been in the longest since we've been married. All the other times that we had moved, I would use it as an opportunity to cull the magnet farm. I would get rid of the old baby pictures, the local veterinary info, and the local emergency phone list that was no longer current.

Most of what I have on the fridge at this point (and on the filing cabinets, and on the bulletin board) is still current -- and it is looking a bit tired.

I do have an outside porch refrigerator, so maybe I could sort of migrate the dated stuff to the porch. It has already begun to collect some of the overflow, but the outside fridge requires more frequent cleaning and I don't know that I'm all that energetic.

I thought briefly about giving some of them away, but I know that would look like I was a tad off my rocker: "Hey, you want my old refrigerator decorations?"

There's not really an aftermarket for the things, even though there were 7,438 listings for refrigerator magnets on e-Bay. They don't have enough value to donate, but still I can't bear to just throw them in the trash.

That would be tantamount to tossing a scrapbook. As I get to looking at them, where ever I picked one up comes rushing back to the front of my mind. Where other people have a world map and push pins, I have my memo-magnets.

I think I mostly do not want to wind up as the human interest story on the news one night, where the live action reporter quips, "And, we are here with Ms. Rodgers who has set a new world record for the most refrigerator magnets. Look folks, thousands of those things are all over her house!"


Maybe it is time to cull the magnet herd after all.

Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social services, networking, community organization in Henry County.