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Your Guide to the Perfect California Drawer

What the hell is a lifestyle drawer?

Eric Yang

n. LIFESTYLE [lahyf-stahyl]


“Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom.” – from White Noise by Don DeLillo

If you spend the better part of your day sitting at a desk, chances are you have a set of drawers to your right or left, drawers outfitted with some combination of small object organizers and perhaps a filing system for papers. This seems useful if you don’t spend any time thinking about the last time you stapled two things together or held a piece of paper in your hand that had a shelf life of more than an hour. With nothing to file and nothing to staple together, you could eliminate drawers altogether or you could create a lifestyle drawer, also known as an auxiliary drawer or the California drawer, a small controlled environment where you keep things that support your overall work-life mission in a sort of aspirational way, i.e., giving it a nice sheen. This is no space for shitty travel-sized toiletries; barely any of it is essential for day-to-day activities; indeed, some of it is hard to justify owning; but it’s your direct link to a life of Cuban cigar smoking in clean boxer briefs with a knife or two by your side, plus a lime. Take liberties in outfitting your lifestyle drawer. We did.

The California Drawer Punchlist

Gerber 39 Series Sheath Folder Knife ($89)
American-made knife.

Douk-Douk knife ($25)
Backup knife.

Uniqlo Boxer Briefs ($6)
Backup underwear.

U.S. Passport ($110)
Backup plan.

Walnut Cocktail Muddler ($7)
Takes up the same amount of space as a stapler, but unlike a stapler you can use it to make mojitos.

Lime ($.50)
Ditto, mojitos.

Epicurean Kitchen Scraper ($10)
This makes a good crumber.

Chef Inox Pastry and Pizza Cutter ($13)
This is pretty hard to justify.

Ray Ban Aviators ($150)

Stanley Shot Glass Set ($20)

Couto Pasta Dentifrica ($14)

Muji Toothbrush ($4)

The Infinite Monkey Theorem Back Alley White Wine ($5)

Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce ($4)
This violates a basic rule of the lifestyle drawer — no food — but condiments and citrus won’t do any real damage if you leave town for a week.

Vintage Tiber Press “How do you like your eggs?” Breakfast Invitations ($1)

Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball ($55/dozen)
Put those Top Flites down, partner.

SOL All-Weather Fire Cubes ($10)

Ogallala Bay Rum Soap Sample (Free w/Purchase)
You get this sample when you buy the exquisite Ogallala Bay Rum deodorant, which your wife will steal, leaving you with a soap sample.

Kodak Disposable Waterproof Camera ($12)
Nobody ever jackknifed into the deep end with a Canon 5D Mark III.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Masculin Pluriel ($185)
If the building is on fire, take this and leave the rest of your shit behind.

Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Toner ($20)
We’re not sure what this is for.

Mighty Leaf Organic African Nectar ($24)

ICEdot Crash Sensor ($119)
This crash sensor alerts friends and emergency responders if you hit your head hard enough to cause damage. Doesn’t mean you should be careless about your head, though.

Field Notes ($10)

SE Spring Bar Tool ($6)

Rotring 600 Mechanical Pencil ($27)

Beyond Coastal Mint Leaf Lip Balm ($3+)
All men lose lip balm after the first use. We can’t explain it either.

Cohiba Siglo II ($70)
There’s still something about smoking a real Cuban.

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