On my drive back from dart league tonight, I was trying to come up with a clever way to start this topic, and not only did I not keep running into a brick wall, I never even took a step. Therefore, I'm just going to blurt it out:
I've got wayyy too many notebooks.
(Does that really make you want to keep reading? Didn't think so.)
I've got this rather unhealthy obsession with school supplies, and I'm not exactly sure why. I haven't been in school in...eeesh, a long time. I don't have any kids in school. But every year when the back-to-school sales come out, I find myself drooling over pens and pencils and rulers and Sharpies and...it's terrible.
For instance: if you're not regularly using a roller ball or gel pen, I might look at you with a puzzled expression and wonder aloud how you've managed to exist for the past decade or more, plodding along with your snail-slow ball point pen.
I've heard writers talk before about how easy it is to start writing. "All you need is a notebook and a fast-writing pen," they say. I know what they mean when they speak of fast-writing pens. I'm obsessed with finding the perfect fast-writing pen. And yet...pens don't even factor too heavily into the equation, because I do 98 percent of my writing with a keyboard. (which I'm also obsessed with, by the way...when you really get rolling on something good, the clacking sound of the keys is like a drug.)
Back to the notebooks. Every back-to-school season for the past several years, ShopKo (uh...that's like a Target, for those of you who just said, "WhatKo??") has spiral notebooks on sale for ten cents each. One..thin..dime.
A dime is something you accidentally drop and don't bother to pick up if it's going to take an inordinate amount of bending or twisting or reaching to retrieve it. A dime is not something you trade for 70 glorious sheets of lined paper, conveniently held together by a spiral binding!
Ohhh, yes it is.
To say that I'm well-stocked with notebooks is a rather gross understatement. I could probably start writing a dozen "War and Peace"s longhand and still have enough notebook paper left over to write four Bibles, all the study materials for the Bar exam and three unabridged dictionaries.
And yet...when I see the big ten-cent sale on the front page of ShopKo's ad, I inevitably find myself trolling around those big stacks of cheap notebooks. In years past some of them even had the neat-and-tidy micro-perfed pages. Score!!
This year, believe it or not, I didn't buy any at all. No...they had an off brand this year, and as I flipped through them, I thought to myself, "These aren't Mead, and look...the lines on many of the pages are kinda faded and some of the spirals are a little bent, and..."
Seriously. These were the thoughts running through my head. Not the fact that I have about sixty or seventy of them at home that aren't being used, but instead that the ones they were offering this year weren't worth a dime!
I've got issues. I've also got a lot of notebooks. And I know it's still several months away, but I'll probably be back scanning the selection next year, too.
Meanwhile, if anybody needs a notebook, you can have one of mine.
For fourteen cents.
"Organized crime in America takes in
over $40 billion a year and spends
very little on office supplies."