Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Temptation of Favorite Places : : Anne McAllister

supplies I noticed the other day when I was looking for a birthday present for my granddaughter that I was the only person doing her birthday present shopping in the office supply store.


What does that tell you?  That I’m a little weird – or that my 3 year old granddaughter is.  Or both.  But office supply stores simply have to appear and I need no urging to go in them.  Who needs window displays when the word “Office” suffices.

In this case I was looking for art supplies – construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, glitter, stickers, markers and crayons – all the stuff that keeps kids busy inside on cold Montana winter days, which should start any minute now and will continue until sometime next June. 

clay I found a treasure trove of things that will keep my girl busy.  I also found lots of things that appealed to me.  Tempted me.

I have a hard time resisted pens of many colors, though exactly why the words flow better in teal green or coral colored ink, I’m unclear.  Sharpies have new Caribbean colors that I was hard pressed to resist.  sharpies On the packet it says that they are a ‘limited edition.’  If that’s the case, I hope they hurry up and take them off the shelves so I can stop being tempted by them!

But Sharpie isn’t making the only temptation. There are all those blank notebooks.  I love blank notebooks. They have so much potential.  They are pristine and simply beg to be filled with things I know I want to remember.  The trouble is, given the state of my office and the number of notebooks in it, I always have a hard time finding the right one, even when I know it’s there.

There are Post-its and pads of every description.  There are even ‘While you were out” messages which would be useful if I weren’t here, or if someone else was when I wasn’t, which isn’t often postits (trips for research aside).  And with answering machines, I suppose I don’t need them. But they’re lots more tempting than answering machines. I rarely find myself tempted by them.

I have been tempted by wastebaskets.  And shredders. And even more by bookcases of which I desperately need four or five. Big bookcases, too. I wonder if I could find an office supply store that sells wall space for the bookcases I need. 

After I had my basketful of art supplies yesterday, I prowled the digital voice recorders (though God knows if I could remember to put batteries in it), and the SD cards for my camera, and those nifty little printers which you can take on vacation with you, though I can’t imagine anyone really does.  I studied the packing tape with interest, the printers’ ink with obsession, the scanners and the netbooks with itchy palms.

file folders I had the same feeling I used to get when I got my school supplies every autumn – the tingle of anticipation (those empty notebooks again – all that potential).  Yes, I was one of those annoying kids who liked school.   I liked the tools of school. I liked the smell of newly sharpened pencils, the odor of inkwells, of calcimine paint and Elmer’s glue.

I know I don’t need any of those things right now. I’m beyond calcimining anything.  My last glue bottle dried up.  I write with pen more than pencil these days, and I haven’t used ink from an inkwell in since my sixth grade calligraphy days. 

I bought the art supplies – the clay and the scissors, the colored paper and the Mr Sketch pens that have a different scent for each color. I bought a first days of school sticker book and a Fancy Nancy one, too.  I bought glitter and pipe cleaners and a  nice substantial glue stick for the granddaughter.  I think she’ll be most pleased.

And I got out of there almost untempted – but not quite. I bought one small notebonotebooksok, pristine  and hopeful, just for me.

Are the certain shopping places that tempt you? My sister-in-law is a serious shoe shopper.  I have a friend who can’t resist toys for her dogs (mine are seriously envious!), and another who can’t pass a bookstore, new or used, without coming out with an armful (I could be one of them). 

What about you?


Kate Walker said...

Me too! The office supplies shop - and the bookshop . . . No, I think the supplies shop would be my worst temptation. I can convince myself (just) that I really need to read a book - or 2 - or 3 - from my TBR mountain before I add anything new to it. But there is always a brand new notebok just waiting to have 'brilliant thoughts' put into it. (So why then do I freeze at the sight of the brand new, pristine page and think that my thoughts just aren't good enough to sully its whiteness?)

And I'm convinced that some lovely new files will help me get organised and make me efficient. Even more, the ones in all different colours will make me MORE efficient because then I can colour code everything . . . Oh, and boxes - plastic boxes to store everything from packing tape to birthday cards and postage stamps. I have a major plastic box system even for my accounts but I always see new ones, in different sizes and colours (colour coding again . . .)

I blame the start of the school/college term - it makes me come over all 'new term' and I just have to visit a stationery store at least.


Anne McAllister said...

Ah, yes, Kate. I knew we were kindred spirits. And now it extends to office supply and stationery stores as well! Glad to know someone else shares the obsession.

Estella said...

I could care less about office supply stores, but let me see a bookstore and my pocketbook is seriously damaged.

cheryl c said...

I can't seem to pass by a display of books without at least looking-and usually buying!

Anne McAllister said...

Estella, Well, you are fortunate indeed that only bookstores seriously tempt you (though I realize you can come away damaged financially -- and books take up space and weigh a lot, too, as I know from bringing several home from a recent research trip). But I envy you your indifference to office supplies. My office would be less messy if I had some!

Cheryl, ah, yes, another book store addict. And online makes them available at all times of the day and night. i've resisted an e-reader so far, but I wonder for how long!

Pat Cochran said...

Add me to the bookstore list! I
can seriously damage the budget
by entering a bookstore. I go in
with list in hand, promising my
self that I will get only the
listed books. I leave with many
bags of books and an empty wallet!
It happens every time!

Pat Cochran

runner10 said...

I like an outlet mall. I am always looking for a bargain.

Anne McAllister said...

Pat, I've taken lists to the bookstore too. It always turns out to be a starting point. Sigh.

Runner, outlet malls are wonderful. I have to travel over 100 miles to get to the nearest one to me, but I love going Christmas shopping there. What I don't do online, I do when I head to an outlet mall. One of my sons for years did ALL his Christmas shopping at Cabela's -- the outdoor outfitters store. Now he's married and his wife has saved us from a lifetime of thermal woolen socks and bear spray.

Mary said...

For me it's craft stores like Joanne's craft store. I can find great kits for the kids for different birthdays, parties, christmas... ect and always find something that I just have to have. I was going to go jewelry shopping one day after getting some scrapbooking supplies and then saw a watch kit..which I bought and made myself a watch. Now I make more jewelry..earrings, bracelets, necklaces ect...than I buy now.

Kandy Shepherd said...

I adore office supply stores! When I visit another country they are one of the first stores I visit to find new and exciting stuff...