• Carmen Milligan

Office Supplies

I have often said that I have an unnatural affinity for office supplies. Analog tools for self-organization are just the best. Pens are a wonderful example. There are gel pens, ballpoint pens, fountain pens, glitter pens, permanent pens, erasable pens, felt-tip pens. There are black, red, blue, green, sepia, purple, silver, gold, and any other color you want. Especially for fountain and dip pens. "Free" ink in the jar are available in so many colors and finishes. There are tip differences. Do you like a a bold line on the paper, or do you like a nib so fine that it scratches the paper when you use it? Do you want your pen available at a click, or would you rather remove the cap?

And paper. Wow! So many thicknesses of paper, which is very important when it comes to the medium you are using. Watercolors glide beautifully when used on the correct paper. Fountain pen ink doesn't bleed through or feather on the right paper. Also, the paper can be blank, lined, grid, or dotted. Then there are the myriad of sizes available, as well as various bindings. Along the same line as paper is the sticky note. Just the other day, I realized that there are transparent/opaque sticky notes. WHAT?! Yes, I need some. Sticky notes tell you where to sign in a contract, remind you of important dates, help you memorize a quote. They have a temporary stickiness that lasts a really long time, even if you move the note over and over and over.

Don't even get me started on paperclips! EGAD! What an adventure a paperclip can be. You can really show some personality with the type of paperclip you use. It can be plastic or metal, in an array of colors, and a variety of shapes. Even "standard" paperclips have become a little fancy!

I will admit to being a bit of a junkie when it comes to the humble paperclip, and I have several shapes and sizes. I think it started when I saw a paperclip shaped like a turtle. I had to have a box. Then I saw paperclips shaped like a fancy ampersand. Yep, bought them! Oooh! There is an arrow paperclip! And is that paperclip shaped like an envelope? Perfect! It was paperclip-heaven from there. It's a good idea to buy a number of them because, once you put a fancy butterfly paperclip on a group of papers that you are going to give away, you want to make sure you have a healthy supply to back up that one going to another home. Admit it: it's tacky AF to say, "Hey, can I have that paperclip back?"

There are other office supplies that make you wonder what the hell they were thinking. I'm thinking about the memo holder spike stick. It's practically a weapon. Widely used when bosses still slapped their secretaries on the ass, this was NOT a good item to have within reach on her desk. The base is the perfect fit for the palm of a hand, for goodness sakes. I have to wonder just how many secretaries daydreamed about using it on their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical boss. Reminds me of Judy, Violet, and Doralee plotting and planning against Franklin Hart in the movie "9 to 5". They could have really used a memo holder spike stick.

Even the lowly eraser can build excitement. But I've already talked too much about these items. I will make a list of other beloved office supplies in a future post. Meanwhile, tell me what you love to buy/collect/use on your desk.

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