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October 6, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Lists Outside the Lines

Things that I love:

  • Lists
  • Office supply stores
  • New crayons
  • Flossing

I have no idea what to post about today.  I am going through a blog-block.  I feel like I have a lot of things to do, but I’m not really sure what those things are.  So I decided to make a list.  I love making lists.  Even more than regular lists, I love making lists that have little check boxes next to the item, so that when said item is completed, a check mark can be inserted.  With each check mark on a list, I feel a little more accomplished.

I am fighting the urge to visit an office supply store.  I love office supply stores.  I love the way they smell, and I love the neatly stacked reams of paper and the clean, untouched notebooks and folders.  I love that there are eighty five thousand kinds of pens and pencils to choose from.  I want to buy erasers shaped like kittens, though I haven’t used a pencil in years.  I want to roll in fresh, unused construction paper, and cover my hands in Elmer’s glue and peel it off when it’s dry to see if I can do it in one piece.

Speaking of glue, do you remember that amber-colored glue from school?  It came in a clear bottle with an orange cap that you’d have to pierce with scissors to get the glue to come out.  I loved that glue, almost as much as I loved the minty-chalky scent of paste.  I wasn’t a paste-eater like several other kids in my class were.  I just liked the smell.  Paste was never very useful though; it left bumps underneath your cutout shapes unless you smeared it very thin, and who in the world has the coordination in elementary school to spread paste very thin?  Not me.

Speaking of things I was really bad at as a child, what about coloring contests?  I have not seen a coloring contest in a long time.  I remember one year the local Pizza Hut sponsored a Care Bears coloring contest.  Our kindergarten class was tasked with entering.  I was very stressed about this.  Nellie*, the girl who sat next to me in kindergarten, was a very good colorer.  She was so detailed and even about the crayon application, whereas my streaks of crayons ranged from heavy to light.  And forget about staying in the lines, it was just not possible for me, though I desperately tried.  No matter what I did, I would go outside the lines.  It was so depressing.

The Care Bears coloring contest was a complete disaster for me.  I took the assignment home and fretted about it.  I picked up a red crayon to start coloring Heart-Bear (or whatever cutesy bear it was) and my dad said “Hey, what in the world are you doing?  Bears aren’t red.  They’re brown or black.”  (He didn’t know anything about Care Bears.)  I felt pressured into coloring my Care Bears biologically possible colors.  One was brown and one was black.  This did not go over well with Nellie the next day.  She took one look at my trainwreck of a contest entry and held up her nose.  “Everyone knows Care Bears aren’t black and brown,” she sneered.  “Your Care Bears look like poop.”  I sadly glanced at her entry, a lovely pastel arrangement of pink and yellow bears frolicking on a rainbow. 

Later during the year I was secretly pleased when Nellie brought her sticker collection to school for show and tell, and someone stole it.** 

Well, crap.  I didn’t win the coloring contest.  I’m pretty sure that the Pizza Hut employee-judges took one look at my entry and immediately wondered if I was armless, because the only explanation for an entry like that would be if the poor child had to color it holding the crayon between her toes.

I can’t remember what I started to write about.  I feel like I have a lot to do.  I should make a list, so I don’t forget.

* Nellie wasn’t her real name. 

** It was not me.



Leave a Comment
  1. Wasband Crossley / Sep 9 2011 8:44 pm

    I won a red Western Auto 20″ BMX bike in this contest at the Pizza Hut in Starke FL when I was 12 yrs old. I have a pic to share if I could.

  2. bluesuit12 / Oct 7 2008 10:13 am

    I remember when we switched over to using rubber cement. Is that what you’re talking about when you say amber glue? That stuff was awesome! I used to paint it onto my hand and peel it off. Fun stuff.

    Maybe that was it. Whatever it was, it must have been bad for you because soon after they pulled it out of the schools, as far as elementary goes. That stuff WAS awesome.

  3. crisitunity / Oct 6 2008 6:25 pm

    I definitely remember that glue. I only rarely had access to it…it was only in the library, or something?

    You and I feel the same way about office supply stores. The problem I’ve found every time I’ve visited them in the recent past is that I can’t find what I’m actually looking for. Which makes me think that they set up the store such that you should browse, instead. Which makes no sense for an office supply store.

    I’ve been so enthralled with office supply stores that I rarely notice how they are set up. But I have to agree with you. It seems like things that belong with other things are not there. And whatever it is you need is often ‘in the back’ or ‘behind the counter.’ How do they do this?

  4. Carli / Oct 6 2008 5:44 pm

    And his name was Tender Heart Bear…doofus

  5. Carli / Oct 6 2008 5:44 pm

    I was always secretly jealous of your amber glue….and that ugly dresser you had with all the gobs of glue on top. Whatever happened to that dresser? But alas, I had goo-glue…something you never had. Neener neener

    I have a feeling that dresser is enjoying its afterlife at the bottom of a landfill somewhere.

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