This blog post is dedicated to Abigail, who suggested it.
In my small kitchen with limited storage, where every single item save my cherry pitter have multiple uses, I have an entire half cabinet devoted to Koozie storage. Yes, Koozies, those wonderful little insulators that keep your canned or bottled beverage cold. I did not set out nor intend to have so much of my precious kitchen space devoted to these items, but like other things in life, sometimes that’s just how it goes.
We’ve always thrown the koozies in the over-the-stove cabinet next to the blender, right there by the rack of tea.
I started noticing that taking the blender in & out of said cabinet was starting to be an exercise in watching your head – because koozies seemed to leap out at you once the door was opened. And trying to put the blender back in? Good luck. Koozies moved into that empty space in a way that brought to mind my Granny asking if you’d jump in her grave that fast when you snaked her seat on the front porch during happy hour. It was time to clean out the cabinet and maybe get rid of some. I mean, how many koozies do you need?
The Ole Miss koozie, which I bought at a gas station in college (the very last one waaaaayyyy out Wire Road, just across from the bar/laundromat. Remember that place?). I was on my way to a party, realized I had no koozie with me, so I stopped and bought one. The clerk was very apologetic they were out of Auburn and Alabama ones, so I had to choose between a Tennesee and an Ole Miss koozie. I went for Ole Miss, as I pretty much can’t stomach Volunteer orange and it seemed the lessor of two evils. Not only have I held onto it for all these years, it’s got the retired ole Reb mascot so I can’t just toss it out. It might be worth something besides the sentimental value of those sweet college days memories. Also, Pat’s tried to get rid of it for years. Totally staying just to be spiteful.
The Rolling Rock bottle set – one of my sisters bought me this Rolling Rock gift set one year for Christmas – I do love a good cold Rolling Rock and my dad was a member of the Rolling Rock canoe club. I grew up drinking that beer, so of course I need a good koozie for it. Also, bottle koozies are nice. And you can’t split up a set.
Kenny Powers, Eastbound and Down. Pat won that, along with a commemorative softball as well as the first season DVD set on an internet contest. It is the leg lamp of my koozie cabinet, only a little more tasteful.
EEAA – Pat was given this for speaking at an Environmental Ed conference down in his home state of Alabama a few years back. He particularly likes the sturdiness of this one – the hard inner plastic liner is perfect for when you’re fishing in a canoe. Far more stable than a regular koozie.
The Coors Light bottle koozie. I was at the beach for the weekend with a three year old Edie and a girlfriend while Pat was at another beach for a bachelor party. Realizing I’d forgotten a koozie while at the grocery store stocking up for the weekend, Edie insisted I get the ‘silver one’ because it was shiny. These were the heydays of tiara wearing, of openly being a princess and at certain points of the day, it was just easier to give her what she wanted than to risk a full on melt down at the grocery store. Every time I’ve tried to get rid of it, she finds out and asks how could I? Did I forget she picked it out for me? I can never get rid of it, never.
Brooke and Nick’s commemorative wedding koozie with the Elvis TCB on the back. Totally a keeper.
Also acquired at Brooke & Nick’s wedding were this pair of bottle koozies with bottle opener ATTACHED to the koozie via a retractable cord that also has a magnet so it attaches to the zipper. Genius. Also, Edie claims ownership of these, so can’t just toss.
The purple ASS koozie. We were vacationing in the Outer Banks and stumbled across an ASS sticker on a parked car. This being a nickname among friends, we had to have it. Thankfully, we were only a few blocks from the Albert Styron Store on Oracoke, so we grabbed ourselves some stickers as well as a koozie. Because we needed it. Can’t get rid of nickname koozies.
The PDon. My cousin Molly threw a most delightful surprise 30th birthday party for her boyfriend Patrick last summer and these were the party favors. We each have one and I like to bring mine wherever I go, snap a shot and post it to Patrick’s facebook page telling him what we did together. “On the beach with PDon”, “On a boat at the lake”, etc. You can’t get rid of family koozies.
Edie customized this koozie at friend’s house one day on a playdate. How do you get rid of functional artwork that says your child has friends whose parents totally get the fact that you have an entire cabinet full of koozies? Exactly.
The foldable koozies. These don’t really take up that much storage space if properly stored. And they are great to slip in the pocket of your pool bag or purse, for when you don’t know you need a koozie, but it sure is handy to have one. A good number of these live in other spots during the warmer months of the year when one might want to have a koozie on hand to keep your beverage cold, so I didn’t realize exactly how many we had.
We’ve got two Kate & John wedding koozies, even though we didn’t actually attend their wedding. (I think we picked them up at an Oysterfest one year). The pair of Crabby Shack koozies we grabbed from the first place we saw them on sale (at dinner) on vacation in the Outer Banks upon realizing we’d not brought any along (is anyone else sensing a theme here of purchasing koozies because we realized we’d forgotten them?) on what was I think our last beach trip pre-Edie. I grabbed the Cheasapeake Bay Foundation koozie when I worked a table for them at an event back when Pat still worked for them – probably a concert at the Pavilion so I could get in free. BB King maybe? I have no clue where the Rocking R & J pig as well as the Albemarle-Pamlico koozies came from – I think someone left them here after a party, so we kept them and leave them out at parties hoping they’ll find their owner. I know the Albemarle one we’ve had for a number of years now, so it just might be ours now. Pat won the Blue Mountain one at the very last Hook Christmas party as part of a whole bucket of swag from that brewery – I thought there were two koozies, but hey, we clearly can afford to lose one. The South Street Brewery one is new – no telling where that came from. The Coosa Riverkeeper Pat picked up at a Waterkeeper Alliance conference. And finally, the Oysterfest koozies they were handing out in the street one year. Got to keep the Oysterfest koozies.
The only koozie I didn’t know where it came from was this
Riverside on the James. I pulled it out and made the mistake of leaving it on the counter on it’s way to the Goodwill pile because it appeared to be the only koozie that we didn’t have sentimental attachment to or might have an owner coming to claim it. It never made it. “Hey, I like this koozie. It has the word ‘James’ on it” was said by more than one of my family members. Apparently, we keep koozies because it has the name of a river my husband has in his job title. This is why I have a koozie cabinet – because while other people collect T-shirts as souvenirs, we collect koozies. It makes a little bit of sense – they do have a function and as evidenced by all these words I’ve written, they tell a story of where we’ve been. And when it comes down to it, there was only one koozie in that whole cabinet that I could bring myself to get rid of.
Edited to add that after writing this, I discovered a stash of koozies in a bucket on Pat’s dresser that I’m not bothering to go through or document. I did notice the birthday koozie he got from Will for his 40th birthday in the pile though. I wonder if those are there to ensure I don’t purge them?