Pencil, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

You know what my favorite gift this year was? Two giant packs of 100 multicolored pencils, each with my real name and blog alias on them. My friend in Boston is renown for giving amazing gifts and this year I got the pencils, sharpener and two monogrammed canvas pencil cases and it was pretty much my favorite package.

In fourth grade, I couldn’t wait to get to drop the pencil for the pen. If you got an “E” in handwriting, you were allowed to use pen (sparingly) for various projects. I worked so damn hard to get that “E” because I hated the pencil. Pencils were boring and nobody cared about fancy smelly erasers by that point. Pens, especially erasable pens, were what made you cool. When I got in trouble for talking in class and had to write my name on the board, I tried really hard even then to make my cursive look neat, just in case it counted toward my “E” in handwriting.

I don’t think I got to use the pen much in 4th grade, but I got to use it in 5th grade for sure, the grade when everyone got to use pen to practice for junior high where we heard you had to use pen. When you’re under pressure to use a pen and use it well, it freaks you out when you’re a kid. Will I hold it too long on the paper, lost deep in thought, making a giant bleeding splotch? Will I misspell a word and have a big ugly line crossed through it and will it count against me? What if I forget all my pencils, even my colored map pencils required for US History, and all I have to write with is a pen and I’m in pre-algebra and I make a mistake and have to turn in my worksheet and it’s all messed up? So many things to think about, on top of wondering if you’ll still be cool if you don’t buy that Hot Pocket and bag of Spirals because your mom forgot to give you cash so you have to bring your lunch of a ham sandwich and Ecto Cooler Hi-C punch with Slimer from Ghostbusters on the front.

Pencils never let you down. Pencils are forgiving. You can chew on them and they won’t explode in your mouth. Pencils remind me of yellow school buses. They’re the one constant you can always count on not to change with the times. Mechanical pencils are like Diet Coke with Splenda. They’re okay for a few people that want to feel fancy, but the classic will always be around. If you lose your earring back, pencils lend you an eraser to replace it. I love pencils so much. At work, we covet pencils because for some reason, nobody has them and they’re never ordered from the office supply store even though you can get, like, 10,000 pencils for one dollar and 89 cents.

I sort of want to start a pencil collection. If anyone has any old pencils, let me know because I’m probably going to hot glue a bazillion of them onto a giant canvas for my living room wall to express my love and support for pencils.

1 Comment so far

  1. Aimswa (unregistered) on December 28th, 2005 @ 1:22 pm

    Do you ever watch HGTV? They have a show called Offbeat America that I just love. In December they showed a woman’s home in San Francisco. Most of her house – her entire stairwell – is decorated with mosaic pencil displays – really fun and cool. If you can find past episodes this one was: Episode HOBA-206



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