• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
  • Archives

Heaven Holds a Place for Those Who Pray

I’m obsessed with office supplies. I’ve never met a binder I didn’t like. The snap of the three rings as they open and close. I am the proud owner of a heavy duty three hole punch. The satisfying feel of paper crunching. I could paper my walls with Post-Its. Mechanical pencils, push pins, index cards, paper clips. Toner! Highlighters! My kingdom for a tape dispenser.

What supplies do you lust for?

16 Responses

  1. I want all of the office supplies! They are so ripe with possibility.

  2. Or is it rife with possibility?

  3. This whole quarantine thing has me slammed. We have a president who can’t throw enough shit onto the windshield of clarity. Also, my mother suffers from Alzheimer’s and lives in a retirement community that is in lockdown. Every day over the phone she asks me why I have not been to see her. Things are so surreal and I feel as though this is a bad dream I wouldn’t wish on anyone. My creativity as a painter is just not there. I envy artist friends who are productive and embracing their online presence. There is no drive to create art – instead, I embraced my left-brain influences and I organize files. I have a Brother P-Touch labeling machine and I am kicking ass organizing all of the paperwork that has piled up over 20 years. A Doctorate of Library Sciences would be impressed. A little bit of order in my chaotic world.

    • How could I forget my Brother P-Touch. Better than a vibrator. Well, relatively speaking.

      So sorry about your mom. Thanks for writing.

  4. It’s rife. And this is the stuff that keeps me up at night. And Robert, as an unproductive quarantiner, I feel your pain. My 95-year-old mom lives with me and she is struggling more than I am with the lack of social interaction. I’m cranky and boring. Be kind to yourself, I predict the art will come roaring back at some point, and it will be richer for the awful experience.

  5. I hope you are right and I feel there is some positive experience that will emerge. I can hear my sister: “OK, you got the house and your life organized…now get your ass back in the studio and paint!”

  6. I’m in charge of office supplies for the non profit I work for, you’d be in heaven working in this department

  7. Long live The Stationery Store. They don’t really exists anymore but man, the retro stationery store of the 1940’s-2000’s, sigh

    • Bob Slate Stationer in Cambridge, MA is/was thriving before Covid. Let’s hope it survives. I wonder why it wasn’t deemed essential?

  8. My stationary supply obsession started when I was ten. All I wanted for Christmas was a desk. I got my precious desk and it was filled with every stationary and art supply imaginable. To this day it was the best gift ever. (That Christmas Story became part of one of my most popular articles.)
    A few years back when I lost a raffle which contained half the merchandise of a Staples Store my kids soothed my heartbreak with a mother’s day gift which matched all the stationary dream-goods I had lost. (That became one of my columns.)
    I admit. I am addicted and proud of it.
    I am stepping away to sort my legal pads, arrange my pens and pencils and restack my binders.
    Have a nice day.

  9. Does a bong disguised as a flower pot with fake daffodils attached to Thai stick type stems count as an office supply?

  10. I’ve been using these 100-day productivity journals, which have helped me break down my process and make it more manageable. As a bonus, the ones I buy have a motivational quote at the top of each day. Since I loath motivational quotes, I black out some of the letters to create poems or whatever.

  11. Office supplies are my jam. I love colorful 3-tab folders in solids or fun prints. I have so many notebooks and pads I could open my own store. And pens, don’t even get me started. While all the other kids were playing house, I was playing office with my mini stapler and spiral notebooks. And who doesn’t own a 3-hole punch? If I ever get to a place where I consider dating, my on-line profile will say, don’t bother swiping if you don’t have a 3-hole punch.

  12. What supplies do you lust for?

    There’s no feeling of contained power quite like the one you can get from using a heavy duty three hole punch. Creating PDF portfolios just doesn’t provide the same kick. And Post-Its? Three ring Binders? Those can come in handy for appications beyond those customarily seen in offices. Think art installations and mixed media collages — I have. And a bright yellow highlighter is a delight to anyone in the legal profession. And all the rest of it — paper clips, both coated and uncoated — binder clips in their various sizes, from the little tiny cute ones that couldn’t hardly clip five pages together, to the huge ones that seem able to bite off digits from your fingers if you don’r watch out — pens, pens, and more pens, all sizes, all colors of ink — self-inking rubber stamps — big rubber bands for securing shut the flaps on big expandable folders — and on and on and on, I should have worked as a quiet, polite, and helpful clerk in a Staples or Office Depot or something, where the women come and go, talking of …

    But the thing? Nowadays? THE THING? Give me packages filled with high capacity thumb drives, and I’m yours — if you also have doughnuts. Doughnuts are office supplies too, you know. Thumb drives and doughbuts and I’ll be right there.

  13. Oh, I am obsessed with office supplies! And I am especially all about those expandable file folders! I label them all according to subject, and I religiously begin to file all my papers accordingly. It’s a great system!

    Until I start to get lazy and overwhelmed, and then I justvstart tossing piles of papers about story ideas and day job issues into the file labeled “taxes,” because I just need to clear off tabletops and can’t deal with this shit anymore.

    But if you need 49 expandable files filled with miscellaneous crap, then I’m your girl.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: