To know my mom is to love her, and to love her is to accept that she
writes on everything with a sharpie. You can't get mad at her because
most of the time it's reasonable markings and conveys useful
information. She writes the dates she bought them on her appliances
and The dates when she made a recipe and notes how it came out. She
will write your name on your property for you, whether you wanted it
labeled or not.
Occasionally she labels something that I wish had been kept pristine,
but mostly I'm just grateful for the lessons on sharing important
information in writing, dating every piece of paper you ever write on,
and "If you value it, put your name it." Property she values and has
labeled includes (but is not limited to): electronics, pillows, camp
chairs, coolers, pans, shovels, strollers, buckets, books and charging
cables. If you can't write directly on something, use a luggage tag.
I have my diaper bag, camera bag, and stroller labeled this way. I
bought an engraved tag on eBay (a small pet tag) to attach to Nick's
newest stethoscope (bought to replace a missing stethoscope).
"If you value it, put your name it," will be put on her headstone some
day. But it's true. This week I found out that Nick had recovered our
stethoscope that had been missing for months. He was able to get it
back in part because he could say, "This is mine, it has my name on
it." You really can't stop thieves, but honest people can't get
something back to you unless you've put your name and number on it.
Anything you lend to someone should be marked.
Keep the information where you can use it. Today I picked up our
minivan after it spent nearly two weeks at a body shop. They must
have disconnected the battery, because the radio wouldn't work until
I put a security code in it. If you don't know the code, you have to
pay the dealership to put it in. While stopped for a train, I pulled
the users manual from the glove box- my mom had written the code
inside. I listened to NPR the rest if the way home.