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It’s that time of year – school supply shopping. For normal people that wouldn’t be a problem. I never claimed to be normal. We made it through two hours and two stores before I broke down. At the third store we had to venture out of the school supply area and into the dreaded office supplies.

There they were. Pens. Lovely gel pens with fancy designs on them. A ballpoint pen with a pretty, curvy swirl on it in magenta. And it had magenta ink! Not just boring black and blue ink. And a set of gel pens in copper, silver and gold. I was done for. After three hours of shopping and more to go, my resistance was weak. I bought pens.

Now it’s not like I don’t have a lot of pens already. Or that we have copious amounts of spare money floating around. But after three hours and three stores, and one more to go, my brain was wiped out and clarity was nowhere to be found. Oh and trying to convince my child that she can’t use the pretty decorated 1″ binder, that her teacher wants her to get the 2″ binder (which are all plain and boring), for the third time.

So pens. Not sure why I collect pens. I do like to write longhand, but for my fiction I always compose on the computer. I’m not in to the fancy, expensive pens. It’s all about color. I have a box of fancy brush tip markers that I mess around with in sketchbooks. Other colored pens that dry quickly and I use mainly on my calendar. A set of 80 gel pens that I bought at Costco one Christmas, because everything comes in big packages there and I love having all those color choices. Pens in my purse, pens by my bedside (because my best story ideas come in the middle of the night). And countless other pens. And I do use them. I journal and I constantly write notes to myself, but I don’t use that many.

I don’t remember when I first started collecting pens. In another lifetime I used to work as a gift wrapper at a bookstore. The counter I was at provided pens, but people often used their own and left them there. I took home the ones I like the most. As years passed, I acquired more pens from various places.

We live in a tiny, tiny house so I periodically go through drawers, cupboards, cabinets, etc. and fill up boxes to go to Goodwill. I’m sure that during one of those episodes I cut the pen collection immensely. And I got rid of one pen holder completely, but I still have way too many pens taking up more than their share of space in my small desk.

Sigh. I’m reading a book on hoarding, trying to figure out why people would so completely fill up their living space that there’s no actual room for them. And trying to find flat surfaces in my eight year old daughter’s room before school starts. She’s a hoarder in the making. Can’t seem to let go of that broken toy she found in a parking lot or that plastic bead from a broken necklace. I feel for her and wish I had the answers.

But even if I did, at eight she doesn’t want to listen to the concept that you can’t keep everything. That your living space has to have room for you to live in. That they’re just things.

Still, I love my new pens.


Published inLife in General

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