Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hello, my name is Monica, and I'm a Sharpie addict.

I've long known that my addiction to office supplies knows no bounds. After all, what mother sweats and twitches for a few weeks before FINALLY exploding into the school supply shopping scene at Target saying Just one more. . . just one more pack of pens. . . and this notebook. . . that's all I need. Then goes back the next day. Just to see what else might be on sale.

I know several and we are a hodge podge bunch of addicts. We each have our specialty. Mine, for quite a few years, has been 10 packs of college-ruled spiral notebooks. I believe those were my gateway to my true addiction.

Sharpies. I love them. At any given time, I must have several at hand. I love the way they smell. I love the way they feel in the hand. I love their bold strokes and their permanence. I love how, when writing lists in said spiral notebooks, even when you write quickly, the sharpie leaks through and marks the next page in a series of dots and specs so random and faint they look like they must be braille -- they have to carry some meaning.

I am aware that it is a sickness. I am also aware that if this is sick, I do not want to be cured.

Let me take you through a brief description of our available Sharpies:
  • Extra Broad, multicolor: We have six extra-broad multicolor Sharpies in purple, green, blue, red, black, and orange. Somehow we lost two: yellow and brown. This causes me a deep and abiding sadness. One day I might even consider Sharpie therapy.
  • Normal, average, run of the mill broad point, in black. I believe at this point there are at least four of these running around our household somewhere. Of course they are useful for such things as mailing labels, marking basement boxes (though I tend to use the broad multicolor for that, because oooooooh pretty!), and writing on CDs/DVDs, etc.
  • My favorites: Extra Fine Point in blue, black, red, and green. My students will soon grow to hate me because what's better than a red correcting pen? A red correcting Sharpie. Nothing says "Don't splice!" like deep, permanent scarring from a Sharpie. EVEN when that Sharpie's in an upbeat blue or grassy green. And what better way to remind a student not to plagiarize than thirteen red "CITE"s in the margins? These are my new fallbacks for class prep and grading, though I've learned that the Sharpie is a bit too powerful up against a textbook. Sorry Composition of Everyday Life. You never stood a chance.
  • Extra Fine Point markers have another purpose, I have discovered. Tattooing the children. There's nothing more fun in this world than stamping my kids with Melissa and Doug wooden stamps, then tracing in black and filling in with the remaining colors. One day, when Lilly, age 19, comes home to visit (hell YES she'll be out of the house by then!) and shows us the permanent tattoo she's had put on her foot or back or shoulder or any wide variety of places teenagers like to modify their bodies, Tim will blame it on me. And he'll probably be right. Meanwhile, after a lifetime or organic foods and a close to plastic-free household, I try not to think about what poisons are leaching into my children's skin from their sweet butterfly tattoos.
I know. I know. But people are always saying that a simple life is a good one, right? Focus on the simple things? What could be more simple than sweet, sweet permanent markers?


  1. You know I getchu. But no silver Sharpies? You must go out right now and get a silver Sharpie. I'll wait.

  2. *SILVER*?!?!?!!?!? Be still my heart.

    Oh, wait, that's right. I forgot, Joe silver-sharpied the pizza cutter, didn't he?

  3. I also love spiral notebooks and have them color coded (pink for things relating to Sydney, blue for things relating to Sawyer, etc.). I like Sharpies and have a few strewn in strategic locations throughout the house (I am a fan of the broad tip on one end, fine tip on the other), but I am a little afraid of them after my sister had to repaint her ENTIRE house after one of her kids scribbled with one on every wall within reach. Plus, Sawyer just colored his hands green yesterday while I was cleaning the bathroom, and Sydney thought it looked like fun, so she followed suit. It wasn't with a Sharpie, but neither was it with the easily washable Crayola markers that I buy for them. But that's all my fault for attempting to do something so monumental as cleaning while the kids were not sleeping/glued to the TV/strapped into something.

    I do have a current obsession with wipe boards. I can make lots of wonderful lists in many colors, and then wipe them away with great satisfaction upon completion or as changes occur. I keep coming up with wonderful ideas for where to hang new wipe boards, for example on the kids bedroom doors. Should a kid get sick, I can then write down when they were last given medication and how much so that Daddy doesn't have to ask me at 2am if he should give someone Tylenol and what is the dosage. Then I remember that Daddy doesn't get up with kids at 2am, he just puts in ear plugs. So for now, my wipe board addiction is in check.

  4. I love love love to go look at all the new school supplies each year. Even though I am no longer in school, don't work at a school, and don't have children, I still have to look. And I nearly bought a sharpie pack this year- reading this, maybe it's a good thing I didn't. Gateway drugs, you know.

  5. Mmmm....stationery. I love the little bits: protractors, rulers, rubbers (I'm not caving and calling them erasers), Twink... :)

  6. i love school supplies too.

    but i am soo glad i found my soulmate and fellow sharpie addict! we can go to therapy together. i have so many i can't even count. multiple jars and pencil bags full. every size, shape and color. when i see new colors i buy them all. i love them.

    i also am a colored pen addict. i just love color. what can i say? :)

    glad to find a fellow sharpie freak!

  7. I just read this & have to comment on my own addiction. My obsession with office supplies stems back to my childhood when, for Christmas one year, my parents went to Sam's & bought me a pack of phone message pads, post-it notes, restaurant order pads, pens, and other assorted office sundries. Better than Barbies. :-)


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