You know how every time you go somewhere, you get a free pen/pencil/crayon? Combine that with a compulsion to get the best deal at the Back to School sales and you get this insane storm of writing implements.
I went around the whole house on a mission to find every single crayon, marker, pen, pencil, colored pencil, eraser, highlighter and sharpie I could find. I searched high. I searched low. I drew the line at crawling under beds. I called Stephen at work.
“Honey, where are your pens and pencils in your office?” His office is a very scary place where things go to die. We refer to it as The Pit.
“Um, you don’t need to go in there.”
“I’m collecting all of the pens and pencils so we can go through them.”
“I want my pens and pencils. I use them. I don’t want you to throw them away.”
I hit a nerve. A very sensitive pencil nerve. “I’m not going to throw them away. I’m simply collecting them. You’ll go through them.”
He paused. Sighed. “They’re all over the place in there.”
I hung up the phone, put my big girl panties on and went in. On purpose. I tried to pretend I was anywhere else but there. I got in. I got out. With an entire box of writing implements.
When everyone got home, I had laid out everything I’d found on the dining room table. During the collection process I thought I’d count them. To somehow quantify the madness. Until I saw them all and realized I’d still be counting in June if I did that.
We all assembled around the boxes, containers and piles. Each person was given a pencil box. We had at least six and Stephen got the biggest. The only rule before “shopping” began was that you could only keep what could fit in your box. I was proud of everyone – they stuck to their boxes with minimal whining. Halfway through the process The Girl went to her room and emerged with another plastic box of pencils. They were probably under the bed.
Later that night, Stephen and I were talking about the pencil boxes.
He sighed. “I’m way out of my comfort zone. Like waaaaaay out of my comfort zone.”
“They’re just pens and pencils.”
“Comfort zone. Out of it.”
“Um, you do know this is our Simple Year, right? And you agreed we needed to do it.”
“This is gonna be hard.”
“Yep. But it will be worth it.”
“God, I hope so.”
It’s safe to say I’m way more comfortable with this than he is.