Wednesday, July 22, 2009

For want of a pen...

An addendum at the end of a friend's post this morning made me laugh somewhat ruefully and think of something that is an everyday irritation around here.

Whenever I need a pen... I have no problem finding one. Seriously, there are pens and pencils all over the place here. What I have a problem with is finding one that works!

The bottom shelf of one of our kitchen cabinets has several jars filled with pencils and pens. Whenever I'm presented with a permission slip, or some form or other that needs to be signed, I open the cabinet and begin the process of finding some sort of writing implement that works or isn't broken. I kid you not, there have been times I have ended up signing a health form in crayon.

That's not even including the two drawers with pens and pencils, and the majority of those pens don't work, and the pencils are all broken. And yes, I have tried to throw the non-working pens out, but I have to be very sneaky about it. If I do it where the Husbandly One can see it, he immediately grabs it, frowns at it, scribbles on some paper with it, and throws it back in the drawer with a "I can get it to work, I just need a few minutes with it. I'll work on it later." And I'll go back a few days later to grab that same pen and it still doesn't work!!

Meaning I have to toss them when he isn't home.

One of these days, I'm going to get a wild hair and sharpen all the damn pencils, too. I mean, it's sad to want to sketch something, or write something down... and all the pencils have broken leads!! And even the mechanical pencils are... empty!!

Happens most often when I'm on the phone. If someone calls me, say from the soccer board, I have to write whatever they are telling me down or... I'll forget it. See, if I hear something, I tend to forget it, but if I read it, I'll remember it because... I remember everything I read.

Sad, isn't it?

So there I am, with plenty of paper, mind you, scrambling for a pen, pencil, anything to write down what I'm hearing, asking the caller to please wait a minute while I find something to write with because... nothing works. I have actually had to resort to carrying a little zippered pouch in my purse of working pens and pencils. And believe me, I guard my little pouch with a ferocity usually attributed to mother wolves protecting their cubs. I know the pens and pencils in my pouch work, and I am not parting with any of them, so get your dirty mitts OFF!!

Sad, sad, sad.

Of course, I have sharpened all the pencils before. Want to know what happened? I went back ten minutes later to grab a pencil, confident that I would find a fully sharpened, unbroken pencil lead... and pulled out a broken one. Why? Because my daughter had come in, taken all the sharpened pencils, and replaced them with all the broken ones that were in her room.

Then she wondered why I was sitting at the table with a handful of broken pencils, chin quivering and tears running down my face!!

Hmmmm... maybe today I'll go through all the pens and winnow out all the ones that aren't working. Tomorrow is trash day. If I bag 'em all up and toss them in the bin outside and put a few bags on top of it, THO will never know!! Unless the kids rat me out.

Guess that means I'll be baking cookies today.

Who, me? Bribe my kids??

You bet your bippy!!

*sigh* The things I do for a working pen!!

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