A pink taxi

A pink taxi

May 13, 2011

My Closet

I store things in a closet, like my mother does and her paternal grandmother did before her. I must say that on my paternal side, my own grandmother had a closet too. These ancestors of mine had a variety of things they would lock in their closets: mainly gifts, jewels and sometimes sweets for the guests. My grandmother would frequently send us to her closet to choose "something": a generous token of her affection!

On the highest shelf are the breakable antiques that I don't put out yet, lest my primary schoolers break them. Well hidden amongst them is the stalk of gourmet Swiss chocolate that I have tightly enclosed in a bag, for a later non-diet episode of my routine. Out of reach. If I go get them, it would take a deliberate effort on my part.

On the shelves beneath are a wide array of toys, some books, some dvds. The targeted age is between 10 and 4 years old: my children's ages. I have bought these with them, or without them and they know that their mom will always have a gift at hand for a good grade, good behavior, an achievement, a record beat. But they would never just get a gift for no reason other than their birthday or Eid. I don't buy a dvd at the store and hand it to them right there and then. The DVD has to spend some time in "mama's closet" before any one of them can earn it.

This positive reinforcement method and "gift hoarding" is great for unexpected events like losing a tooth. The tooth fairy doesn't give my kids currency, she drops a gift under their pillow and when the gift is too bulky, like a Lego box or a Barbie doll, then the fairy hides the bulky gift somewhere beneath the duvet. The children are bewildered at these bespoke gifts!

In my closet, at eye level, are the important documents and mail that I have to address. Amongst that paper work are the irreplaceable "school by correspondence" my eldest son works on with me. There, at hand's reach, are my precious Yemeni almonds, for my midnight snack or to stuff in my handbag.

The shelf underneath houses the family photos that have yet to find a home in an album: just developed ones they have been carefully chosen and will be soon added to each child's albums. There are also enlarged photos, waiting to be framed, and photos I haven't hand distributed to friends yet.

At the bottom of my closet, you can find the British Vinolia soap bars my father buys me from Deira, and which I hoard, like a granny. Their smell infuses the entire closet.



  1. Will you come organize my closet??

  2. Closet,black hole or "khizana" is a reflection of one's character.As much as I am organized and impulsive compulsive,I really donot have a closet that I can lock and call it my own.The only time I owned a key to a closet was in my boarding days.Later,the closest I came to a storage place was the open-shelf lamp table I have near my bed which has my reading books,and the chair near it that I keep my handbag and other docs I need to tackle the second day.At my office,my assistant has the keys to all my files and docuements.
    The Queen dowger of all closet owners is my dear wife who keeps all my treasures,amongst many of her hiding places,whether in safes,locked closets,storage rooms,or Ali Baba's cave.What amazes me is that she can find the smallest item you ask her for within a jeffy of the request.
    My grandmother had a mahogony closet full of candies and delights for her more than 45 grandchildren and much more of her great grandchildren.She had a lady assistant who was the gatekeeper,since she was bedridden in her last years.
    My mother's "khizane" was in a way similar to my wife's,except she had only one,while my wife has tens.I recall as a little boy,that my father used to hand my mother all his valuables and keep his side of the closet open at all times.I guess this habbit got ingrained in me too.In her later days,she used to get the pleasure of giving her keys to her loved ones to choose whatever they find as a gift or souvenir.