My Long-Time Obsession with Office Supplies

When I was a little girl, I used to look at and play with all of the cool stuff on and in my mom’s desk. She had a long metal ruler that flexed, some kind of long horsehair brush (I think it was used for dusting out the typewriter), a beige heavy metal stapler with a matching tape dispenser, and cool ledgers, and a desk pad.

I lover pens and mechanical pencils. I sat in awe as I stared at all of the different types of paper clips. I punched holes with three different types of hole punchers into any scraps of paper that I could find. I used those paper hole reinforcements–you know those little circles with a hole in the center–as eyes on my notebook covers.

I even played with her rubber cement! It was the coolest thing ever! I also loved her big, heavy, silver scissors. I have no idea what brand they were, but they were beautiful and fun to use. She even had a tiny pair of scissors in her desk that I loved to use.

I also loved her filing cabinet. There was something magical about the way the files were organized. I loved that you could run your finger down all of those File tabs until you found what you were looking for. Organization at its peak.

Everything was so grown-up and sophisticated. I wanted to work in an office someday, or have a job where I got to use all that really cool stuff.

1980s Office Supplies
1980s Office Supplies

Today I am grown up. My obsession with office supplies has not waned one bit. The only difference is that instead of them being magical, they are practical and useful. They are tools. However, I still get excited about purchasing them. I appreciate quality tools. Moreover, I enjoy organization.

Today I received my first good quality stapler and tape dispenser. My Swingline 747 stapler is beautiful, sleek, heavy, and works better than any stapler I have ever owned.  I just used it for the first time to staple a 20-page journal article and the Swingline staple went through like a knife through butter. No jamming. No hang-ups. I am in love. Now I cannot wait to fill my tape dispenser and use it for the first time!

I had forgotten about my youthful fascination with my mom’s office supplies.  Using that stapler seemed to bring it all back to me. In fact, I think I will give her a call now.  Just to say thanks for never yelling at me whenever I would play with her office supplies. If not for her, I would not be the quirky, weird person that I am today.  Thanks mom. I love you for that.

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