Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Secret Semptember Shame

It's my favorite time of year, for lots of good reasons. But I'm going to share with you, gentle reader, the really freaky reason. I have a problem. I'm obsessed with something a little weird and I can't get the monkey off my back. And the sick thing is a lot of us-- writers-- share the addiction. So back-to-school time is tough. The ads are everywhere. There's no way to hide from them...


Oh my word... they call to me like candy. Bright, shiny, colorful-- like prettily wrapped jewels designed to catch the eye of a deranged magpie like myself. Sparkly! Shiny! Bright and fancy and NEW!!!

So seductive. The little cellophane tabs in purple and blue and pink? Oh my. I could organize my plot book with those. The hard-back theme notebooks defying conventional black and white covers with swirls of bold print in lime green, orange, teal? My character sketches want to live in them like modernized condos for fiction. The brand new packs of unbroken crayons? Magenta and cyan blue and vandyke brown--- ooooh they're calling me!

I didn't like school much til I moved on to college. College became my place to blossom and I loved it. But I've always had this secret... this shameful yet diliriously delicious addition to all things paper, pencil, and pen related. Blank pages have always made me itch. Freshly shaved pencil wood gives me shivers. Turn my palm and you will find a lifeline pock-marked with blue dots-- the scars of pencil led driven into my hands as I furiously erased something I'd sketched. I cherish them: battle-scars of a young artist.

So while many of you may be in mourning as the summer comes winding down with a wistful sigh, I am all ajangle with joy. It's school supply season. I can smell the ink on the wind! Bubble-gum-like pencil sharpeners and ice-cream colored triple folders beckon me. I'm hooked. I admit it. Get out of my way, I need to get to the closest Target NOW!


  1. I am so this way too! Yesterday Walgreens had a sign up- 50 two-pocker folders for 1.00!!!!! I was frantically wondering what I could do with fifty folders but alas couldn't come up with anything since I'd already bought thirty a few weeks before.

    I bought ten packs of pencils for .09 cents a piece and now the erasers are falling off and the lead is falling out! And those were for my class. Oy!


  2. I love this time of year for the same reason! Not only do the kids go back to school, but I have an excuse to buy spiral notebooks at a penny a piece [love those sales!], packs of erasers, pens, highlighters, sticky notes in all colors and sizes [the kids don't need 'em, but the people at Walgreens don't know that]. It's not just the new supplies that are wonderful, it's getting them all for cheap that gives me a thrill too!

    So glad to know I'm not alone!

  3. I collect them all year long. "For the kids", of course. And this time of year, I revel in going through their lists and checking things off. Got that. Got that. Got two dozen of those. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    The only thing better is about day two of school, when my son says mournfully that his friend can't play because he has to go shop for school supplies. And last year he actually asked, "How come she didn't do that weeks ago like you did?" Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh some more!

    And then, of course, all the leftovers are mine. Because my WIP needs just the right binder, the right size and weight and color.

  4. dude. i adore school supplies. i always pick up extra paper and such for myself...just in case. i love having fresh, clean notebooks!

  5. I can't say as school supplies really sway me. I like them, but I'm never sure what I'd do with them.

  6. I miss my old Trapper Keeper.

  7. Anonymous8:17 PM

    I have like 800 pens and 600 packs of post-it notes.

  8. A little drool just formed at the corner of my mouth.

  9. Like Kristen, I've never been a school supplies person. They are what they are, and I generally don't really use them when I do buy them.

    Also, it's easy enough to raid the supply closet at work.

  10. Anonymous11:43 AM

    OMG. I'm so with you.

    Required: 2 plastic folders. PlASTIC??? Those are new. Oh, and so shiny and pretty - purple, pink, blue, green... WOW and where di those new Trapper Keeper folders come from - can I get one of those instead of the plastic?

    It's for my daughter... really it is.

    Oh, only 1 notebook required. Surely that's a misprint. Look at all these 3 and 5 subject notebooks. Are we sure a first or third grader doesn't need those.

    4 packs of 24 Crayons - But the packs of 96 are so cool... I want them.

    Yeap... I went absolutely nuts, drooled, made a fool out of myself. Two extra boxes of pencils - well you know the lead in some pencils and the erasers are so cheap. I like the graphite... they have some bite.

    And don't get me started on the difference between wide rule and narrow. The debate will note end. (Hint: Wide rule sucks!!!)

    I managed to retreat from the scene with ONLY the items required when we shopped for my kids(I plead the fifth on the six other trips down the school supply lanes since... really I was just picking up some odds and ends.)

    To summarize: When I was a kid, you always found me on the school supply isle, straightening up things. I was like 12 years old and adults were asking me if I worked at the places... it was my thing OK!!! Don't hate the geeky school supply kid.