Monday, November 9, 2009


So many things in our lives are completely out of our control.

I cannot change the weather - although I can live where the weather is almost perfect. I have no influence on the state of the economy - although I do my best to financially support my local Target. And I cannot control the chronically depressed state of several individuals in my immediate family - I just try to keep their medications current and prescriptions active.

Living some twenty years as an military spouse, I have learned to accept multiple (and sometimes complete surprise) moves - assignments in which my husband could not let me know anything about until years later (including calls in mid-day to say, "Honey, I'll be gone for a little while" and then nothing else for a week) - and even once when he brought his "wife" home around midnight when they were working late enough on a mission (to which I replied, "so you DO know who you are sleeping with the rest of the night, right!?")

We even got to live ten years in the state of Maryland - which, by my limited definition, was hell.

So maybe I became just slightly MORE than a little compulsive about the small number of things which I could control.

I became (and have remained) adamant about certain brand foods, even through the period of lower-enlisted poverty - Kraft Macaroni and Cheese - Ben and Jerry Ice Cream (when available) - Simple Green (back when you had to hunt for it) - Dove soap (long before the dippy "2/3 lotion! Be proud of your self!" campaign began).

And I believe my clinical obsession with office supplies developed along these same lines.

My third job (after becoming a mother) was with a non-profit health organization - and I was the one in charge of ordering office supplies for THE ENTIRE STATE. Well, for that particular non-profit organization. And for the 47th smallest state in the United States. Which is actually only 240 square miles larger than the county I live in right now.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't that big a deal.

But it started this fixation on ANYthing that is sold in office supply place - folders, paper clips, markers, Pendaflex, desk organizers, bulletin boards, white boards, memo pads, three-ring binders, spiral binders, stapler removers, calendars.

Except pencils.

I hate pencils - I mean I HATE them. I must have repressed some memory of being abused by a No. 2 Ticonderoga sometime in my childhood and just have not discovered the correct therapy to overcome it.

However, I am now establishing SPAWM (Society for Prevention of Abuse by Writing Mechanisms) as a non-profit mental health resource for all pencil-abused individuals who need assistance in their tragic plight.


I am so happy.