I just read My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Basically a very sad story, with an equally sad, but unexpected ending where one sister has leukemia, and the other one was born, basically to be a donor for her older sister. But this isn’t a review for the book, just something that stuck with me about it. The mother of these two girls, sort of as her escape, orders formal dresses online from some website. She’ll try them on maybe pretend for a little bit that she’s someone else, someone without the problems she has, that has somewhere to wear the dress. I got the impression that the dresses mostly were just returned.
I was at Walmart the other day (Yes, I shop at Walmart. Shoot me.) when I walked past their display of 5 subject, college ruled, spiral notebooks. On sale. "Whopty doo" is I’m sure what you are saying right now. I have a weakness for these notebooks. And pens. And pencils. It’s the writer in me. I always want to buy them, see that they are like $5 and talk myself out of it since I do all my "writing" on the computer anyway. If I do buy one, I never get around to writing in it, because then it isn’t new and unused and neat and clean. It’s been soiled by my pen. But I have to pull. That excitement. I want that notebook so badly.
My freshman year of high school my English teacher had us all bring in a single subject spiral notebook. It was to be our journal for the year. He asked us to tape/glue a collage on the front that showed who we were. I did that, for the assignment. And then I got excited and made one for me to be my writing notebook. It’s been fourteen years since I was a freshman in high school (whoa... half my life), and that notebook has never been written in. I added to the collage towards the end of high school, and again at the beginning of my freshman year in college, to update who I was. It was always there. Yet because so much had gone into making it special, I couldn’t bring myself to ruin it by writing in it. I still have it. It’s still word free. It’s packed in a box somewhere in storage.
This is why I didn’t buy that notebook the other night. Why I already have quite a few scattered around my room. Some stenos, some 5 subject spirals, some fancy blank journal books. I’ve attempted writing in some of them. Some have just been turned into homes for the lists I make, the to dos, the Christmas wishes, the address list of who deserves baby announcements or Christmas cards, the packing lists and books to read lists. Others remain empty, waiting for me to write in them. Yet here I sit at the computer night after night. Typing my thoughts away. I guess it’s reassuring knowing that I’m not wasting any paper if I never click on print. And with the touch of one button, or the click of a mouse, this can all go away without the messy tear and all those little bits of paper that fall out with it.