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.