May 5, 2005

That's The Ticket

This should come as no surprise - I was a quirky kid. Hell, I'm a quirky adult. When I was around 11 or 12, while most kids were entertaining themselves by collecting baseball cards or playing video games (although truth be told, I spent a lot of time in the local arcades), I developed a love of office supplies.

Its unclear where my affinity for office supplies came from. I managed to have a best friend who was similarly interested. So, while kids were playing football and falling off skateboards (both of which I did - I was quirky but not a total freak) my best friend and I were usually checking out office supplies in a mom-and-pop store down the street from my neighborhood.

I owned more damn pens than any 12 year old should. Not to mention a couple great staplers, a nice little briefcase and a couple kick-ass mechanical pencils. But what I really enjoyed were some of those great bulk items. Like a 50-count pack of those little erasers you put on the end of pencils. And ink stamps. Remember those? The ones with dates and times and other things that you rotated around the stamp with those little plastic wheels? Those rocked. I think I managed to hide much of my obsession from my parents but I was found out when they happened upon my secret stash during the process of moving from Texas to Virginia.

We were cleaning out my room when they stumbled on it. They seemed slightly troubled and mildly amused. They probably scratched their heads in wonder. Where did we go wrong they might have mused. Yes, I too was astonished when they uncovered my big-ass roll of 2,500 tickets. You know, like the ones that you get for drawings and door prizes? Yep. I had a couple thousand of them. Its unclear why. Just blame my compulsive love of office supplies.

Damn, I was a dork.

Posted by Chris at May 5, 2005 8:34 AM


I have a catalog from Office Depot and Staples.

I feel your pain. (And excitement. I LOVE the PhD pens, don't you?)

Posted by: alektra at May 5, 2005 8:55 AM

Ah there's nothing quite like the sight of a well-stocked supply closet. Dorks unite!

Posted by: carrster at May 5, 2005 9:05 AM

Keep the tickets- they're good for LARGE Beanette birthday parties.

Posted by: vicki at May 5, 2005 9:12 AM

i, too, love office supplies. oh man. and at my last job, they never questioned (well, within reason of course) any requests i made. pens! post-its in a million colors and sizes! oh my. sadly i work at a place where there is little money for such things. that is most definitely a let down.

in fifth grade a friend and i found a box full of old computer punch cards. it was like we'd found a trunk full of gold.

Posted by: patricia at May 5, 2005 9:29 AM

Maybe I should introduce you to the tackle box of pens... I am obsessed with pens and when new ones come out I buy them, try them and if I hate them I may give them away or they get stashed in the tackle box just in case I change my mind later. We were talking about what one must leave behind when they leave a job and I said, well you would have a hard time proving which office supplies were mine and which ones were the office's. They were like, oh yeah, good point there.

Posted by: goodsnake at May 5, 2005 9:37 AM

You would probably faint if you saw my wife's home office. She has the pens. She has the date stampers. She has the giant red roll of raffle ticket things (just bought it two weeks ago). But did you get one of those "comb binders" that makes the nice plastic spiral bound booklets? What about a laminating machine? Full size copier?

She knows the staff at Office Depot by name.

Posted by: Jon in Michigan at May 5, 2005 9:51 AM

OK, Ok, I'll admit to fondling the office supplies at work. I do have a major pen/pencil obsession, I had buckets full. Plus, having been an art teacher, the art supply store was total nirvana--do you know how many writing/drawing utencils they have? *swoon*

(and I loved those date stamps too)

Posted by: A.K. at May 5, 2005 9:52 AM

That is priceless! It makes me feel a lot better about my own general dorkiness.

Posted by: That Girl at May 5, 2005 9:59 AM

They still sell the stamper and ink pad, maybe Beth can get you one for your birthday! I was never fortunate enough to own one of those, but what fun it would have been to have when I played library! Yes...I played library, shut up.

Posted by: kimberlee at May 5, 2005 10:12 AM

Haha, I actually chuckled!!

I, too, love office supplies but not to your extent!!

Posted by: ::c:; at May 5, 2005 10:14 AM

I still use the ink stampers here at work. Also, I was cleaning out some stuff from my parent's attic and I found tons of pencils I'd saved from when I was a kid--remember pencil boxes that you kept in your desk in elementary school? Well, I still have mine! What a nerd!

Posted by: Milly at May 5, 2005 10:24 AM

Hee, that sounds just like me. I am such a dork I'm sitting here JEALOUS of your childhood office supply stash, all damn, I wish I had one of those date stamps.

Posted by: Fraulein N at May 5, 2005 10:31 AM

When going into Office Max for....ummm...toner cartridges, yeah that's it, I am almost always dazzled and entranced not only by the vast selection of pens, but also binder clips, paper clips, post-its and various rubber stamps. I find myself trying to create some reason why I would need a bag of 500 various sized rubber bands or 1000 paper clips in a rainbow of colors.

Thankfully, I manage to resist the urge, but I won't refrain from fondling the packages and wondering how I can possibly live without said item.

Posted by: Amy at May 5, 2005 10:36 AM

You're not alone. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher so I think I had every supply known to man, including an actual desk and chair combo and a big ass chalk board I begged my mom to buy for me at a yard sale for $2.00. I also couldn't seem to have enough paper. To this day, I have enough paper to last me well into the next ten years.

Posted by: Retro Girl at May 5, 2005 10:42 AM

I loved office supplies too...heck I still do! I get excited when the office depot truck pulls up in front of work...when I worked as a student assistant I use to gleefully tear into the boxes and first make sure the order was right and then deliver the office supplies to the person who requested them...I loved it. Now when I get fresh office supplies I love them. My newest obsession: White board markers- the kind that smell like fruit. its. God I have a ton...but I need more. And of course Pens...:D

Posted by: AmyM at May 5, 2005 11:25 AM

Wow, I can't believe there are so many other office supply addicts floating around! I'm also completely boyfriend has to put blinders on me to get me out of Staples. I have an entire desk drawer full of pens. My latest obsession is those coloured, clicky Sharpies.

And kimberlee? I played library, too.

Posted by: s. at May 5, 2005 11:35 AM

that's hilarious! I've always been into school supplies well before i got into work... glasses too, I always wanted glasses to make me look more the part. lmao! now my obsession is with ordering all the supplies, it's almost like i'm getting lots of presents! :p

Posted by: angel at May 5, 2005 11:39 AM

Hmm. That is a very interesting obsession, Chris. I can relate, only in a shoe and handbag kind of way. I don't judge you, though.

Posted by: Heather at May 5, 2005 11:47 AM

I am so excited that I'm not alone in my love of office supplies. People laugh and think I'm kidding when I say that Office Depot is my favorite store... if they only knew I wasn't kidding. The pens are great, but my weakness are all the different pretty paper. I have more of it than I will ever admit - and don't have that much use for it! Fortunately, my boss is very into color-coding the filing, so I have very colorful file cabinets!

Posted by: Charlotte at May 5, 2005 11:50 AM

LOL :)) If you had said you played with Barbie & My Little Pony, I would be a more worried.

I have to agree, stamps rock! :)

Posted by: Sweety at May 5, 2005 12:00 PM

I'm the opposite. On my desk right now: two pens, a pad of Post-Its, and a stapler. That's it. Those are my supplies. Nothing in the drawers. "Survivor: San Diego Office".

Posted by: Jason at May 5, 2005 12:03 PM

Just imagine how surprised they must have been. At that age, they probably expected to find a stash of porn, not office supplies. I wonder if they were relieved, or disappointed? lol

Posted by: Spring at May 5, 2005 12:03 PM

Me, too! Looks like there are a lot of us. I, myself, have a pen and pencil fetish. And I hoard the really tiny binder clips - I lerve them!

Now, this might be embarrassing. It is a real confession. No one knows I do this. But here goes.

I am really broke these days. Like really, really broke. So, I never get to do a proper shop for anything. We have a large and well-stocked supply room at work that looks just like a tiny Office Depot. When I have a shopping jones, I take a basket and "shop" for office supplies. I examine all the choices. I fondle some, I put some back. And then I select a few items that I like or need. It's about the closest I get to actual retail therapy. Pathetic, huh?!! hehehe.

Posted by: Ms.Q at May 5, 2005 12:09 PM

My name is Karen, and I'm an office-supply-aholic. Post It notes in various sizes and colors, removable file folder labels that I can color-coordinate with my folders, binder clips, colored pencils, velcro dots, push pins, self-inking stamps ("draft" and "confidential" and "copy" Oh, the list goes on...

Posted by: MamaKaren at May 5, 2005 3:00 PM

I personally love Sharpies. And post-its in assorted shapes and colours.

Posted by: Heather at May 5, 2005 3:40 PM

OMG! This is too weird. I thought I was the only nerd-o kid who collected that stuff! My most cherished posession when I was like 8 was a red pen with an ink eraser on the end that I used to "correct" my recycled homework papers. How about those cool pens that wrote red, green and blue? I had a thing for brass fasteners too, maybe that was before your (all) time(s). And those computer cards were tons of fun. And I loved manilla envelopes and label makers, the ones with the wheel that looked like a laser gun?
I seriously wonder what this says about all of us. Maybe that we have deep inner needs to... what??? I can't decide! Let's all rent Office Space this weekend to show our solidarity.
Oh hey! Who loves to smell those big fat Magic Markers?

Posted by: Juju's Mom at May 5, 2005 4:37 PM

ooo yeah... smelling markers! How about the kid ones that are scented? Those are dangerous, especially for adults who try to eat them. I love Office Depot and always wanted my own office supply store. When I had my home business, I had tons of stuff. I still have enough post-it notes to last another 20 years.

Posted by: etherian at May 5, 2005 4:44 PM

Admit it. You like the smell of paper too. And I'm not sure if you are old enough, but the smell of "dittos?" Yum.

Posted by: beautiful face at May 5, 2005 4:51 PM

ha! love it!

i've got pens and pencils and paperclips of all sorts of pretty colors that i refuse to use - what if i lose them? i have piles and piles and boxes of funky colored post-it notes... i won't use them for fear of not having them any more.

heh, and to think, some kids carried around blankets...

Posted by: monique at May 5, 2005 4:52 PM

Maybe you were going to raffle off some of those ink stampers.

Posted by: Snidget at May 5, 2005 5:05 PM

I feel your pain. The people around me are generally surprised when I whip out my mechanical pencils that contain green, copper, or gold lead.

Posted by: Queen of Ass at May 5, 2005 5:32 PM

Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that I am not alone.

Blue Pens are my weakness :)

Posted by: Novemberchild at May 5, 2005 6:36 PM

Hey, I work at a behavioral heathcare facility....I can get those sweet drug pens (that you have no idea what the drug is for) if anyone wants some!! They kick ass!

Posted by: Michelle at May 6, 2005 8:56 AM

(whew)... that made me giggle in that nervous way that can only mean that we share this trait! My parents, however, were enablers. They gave me an old typewriter when I was 11 so I could set up a desk...good times. Oh, and my uncle is my supplier... he works for 3M... post it notes for life, baby.

Posted by: SueBec at May 6, 2005 9:03 AM

initially i was thinking, "weirdo" but as i read on i realized that i like all that stuff too!! we are all a buncha dorks, it's all good!

Posted by: lizabetty at May 6, 2005 9:33 AM

How...strange. And I thought I was strange. ;-0

Posted by: Jazzy at May 6, 2005 5:48 PM

*Stands up and looks at the crowd* I, too, am an office supply dork/nerd/dweeb/freak/etc.

Ever since I can remember, I have loved all things office-related. Pens, pencils, papers, stamps and ink pads, staplers, paperclips... the list goes on and on. I STILL hoarde office supplies of any kind. (I'm especially fond of Sharpie Markers and Post-It Notes!)

And it didn't help that mom would help me out by swiping those cool deposit slips from the bank that had the carbon copy paper in them!

...Or that my grandma was a teacher and had even MORE stuff for me to play with!

Oh yeah, I played school, bank, office, library, doctor's office (just the 'paperwork' side, honest!).... If it involved paper and writing utensils, I was up for the challenge. And I ALWAYS signed the name "Kellie Starr"... I. Don't. Know. Why.

Posted by: ironic1 at May 7, 2005 2:01 AM

And that big-ass roll of 2,500 tickets? Yep. Had that too. They were the best!

Posted by: ironic1 at May 7, 2005 2:02 AM

I have been obsessed with office supplies since I was about 3...I just thought it was the writer/artist in me...I am a hoarder of all things especially paper and fabric! (ish...making my own books now! I can use all the cool pens!)

Posted by: Gypsy at May 8, 2005 12:40 AM

Oh my gosh, I have the same problem. I can't believe YOU did too!

Posted by: jen at May 8, 2005 1:20 PM

And I thought it was just me, wow do i feel a lot beter about wandering around Staples knowing it is not just me, I love that wandering around the office supply shop, not needing to buy anything, but those Post-It notes shaped like kissing lips sure are goona look good on my desk, and the clean smell, the sharp clean lines of everything, the different colours of paper, and my all time favourite...envelopes. You cannot beat a well constructed envelope, DL size naturally, ready gummed, now I need to shower....

Posted by: andy boy at May 9, 2005 8:31 AM

Oh. My. God.

I thought it was just me.

Someone gave my dad a kick-ass adding machine(lots of keys on it and a handle to pull down) and he let me play with it! That was the coolest thing. I also had a bunch of receipt pads. I'd forgotten about all that until I read your post. Thanks.

Posted by: Alison at May 11, 2005 3:28 AM

when my twin sister and i were around 5 years old, my mother took us to her office and made the mistake of leaving us alone for a few minutes to settle something. she came back to find the both of us covered in the company stamp in bright red ink. all over our face, our necks, our shins, our forearms, basically everywhere not covered by our matching outfits, 'cause y'know, that would have made our mother mad and all...

no wonder i grew up with an obsession with japanese brand marble pens, the kinds that had different coloured ink in each pen and changed colour as you wrote.

Posted by: averil at May 11, 2005 1:46 PM

not sure what linked I followed to get here, but had to laugh about the office supply obsession. I can so totally relate ... I just love having things all lined up and situated just so, with my stand-up stapler and my little ceramic cup for staples that have been removed (God forbid they be allowed to litter my desk haphazardly), with the marbled green staple remover neatly resting against the edge ... what a sicko! Not to mention the clear cubes I have everywhere for organization ... ohhh, the joy of filling MORE cubes with colored pencils, index cards, posts its of every color and size ... and, of course, plenty of different sized scissors and rulers.

What a bunch of sickos.

As much as I hate to dangle drugs in front of an admitted user, I would be remiss if I didn't share my dirty little secret:

just go ahead and surrender to it ... I dare you not to swoon at the delicious office tools and reading supplies that have for your own personal fondling. *grin*

Posted by: ntexas99 at May 14, 2005 10:14 PM