Refrigerator magnets have got to be the most unusual method of
displaying an American family's funniest moments, favorite places
and proudest accomplishments.
I am not immune to the appeal of
this weird tradition, but it makes me wonder where people hung all
that stuff before there were refrigerators. Someone, somewhere,
sometime said, "Hey, I've got this huge metal box in my kitchen. I
think I'll throw some magnets on it."
That's why plastic refrigerator doors don't sell well.
Each time we take a trip, I will take an irrational amount of
time to pick out a refrigerator magnet that will best relate our
experiences there to anyone who cares to look at our refrigerator.
It has to be perfect. This is for posterity, after all. It will be
hanging on my refrigerator for all eternity; or at least until some
realtor tells us to take them down because nobody will buy our house
with all those magnets on the refrigerator.
It's not just the magnets, either. It's the items the magnets are
There is one of my oldest son and his girlfriend wearing red
clown noses and sticking their tongues out. That right there is a
proud moment. It is stuck to the refrigerator with a magnet in the
shape of a pair of swimming trunks with dolphins and palm trees on
This is the magnet my husband and I brought back from our trip to
Key West on our 25th anniversary. The two would-be clowns will be
getting married next year. Can you see the significance here? I need
to be careful not to hang that picture up with anything that
suggests a baby-anything until after their wedding. After the
wedding, I may surround it with baby magnets!
I have a magnet that is a foam-framed Halloween picture of my
youngest boy. He was in preschool at the time. He couldn't decide
whether to be a pirate or a cowboy, so he was both. This picture is
the catalyst for him actually making a decision on subsequent
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There is also one of him at 2 years old wearing a construction
paper Native American headdress with a noodle necklace. It's still
there because it's so cute! It's being held by a magnet we got at a
Cherokee reservation we visited.
We've got a magnet from the Petrified Forest because when we
arrived there, everyone in the family had a stomach flu and we
couldn't actually see the park. So, we bought a magnet to prove we'd
been there. This magnet is holding a picture of one son on his first
day of kindergarten, eight years ago, and yes... he was petrified.
There is a magnet of the zoo, the aquarium and the Kennedy Space
Center. There's one of California, New Mexico and Philadelphia. I
have one for historic places like Williamsburg, Va.; St. Augustine,
Fla.; and Charleston, S.C. I even have one for Neuschwanstein Castle
in Austria, where I visited in 1985, and one for Old Faithful, where
I didn't visit, ever. My mom brought it back from her trip there,
just so I could pretend I'd been there.
My favorite magnet, though, has to be one that my daughter made
in preschool. It's a self-portrait. She drew a rectangular face,
framed by blue hair. She made huge brown eyes, one bigger than the
other, that have precisely 13 proportionally above-average
eyelashes. Her mouth is a red line that encompasses most of her
face. Anyone else might say that it looks like a demented zombie who
was once the homecoming queen in her living years.
She even drew a very skinny tree in the background. Obviously,
she was lacking some spatial planning here. Of course, no picture is
complete without a yellow sun in the corner with conspicuous yellow
rays beaming from it.
Who could take that magnet down?
[By LAURA SNYDER]
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist,
author and speaker. You can reach her at
or visit www.lauraonlife.com
for more info.