Make Mine Wite-Out

posted in: Day In The Life, Work 9
Liquid Paper display, Women's Museum, Dallas, Texas. Photo: Wikipedia.
Liquid Paper display, Women’s Museum, Dallas, Texas. Did you know Liquid Paper was invented by a lady? Photo: Wikipedia.


Before I discuss my love of White-Out, Liquid Paper, and other corrective fluids*, I would like to remind you that it’s not all Wite-Out and dryer lint around here. I write about serious things, too.

I’ve been thinking about Wite-Out because I have been dipping often (and dippin’ hard) into my 2017 paper planner, aka, my “papecal.” Nothing new, of course: My paper planner has long been an extension of my brain, more vital, I feel, to my life and mental health than my dumb ol’ phone. Yes, if I had to lose either my phone or my papecal, I’d hand over my phone without a second thought. Phones can be replaced. But papecals, with all their small notes, non-deleteable content, and margin doodles? Papecals are unique and special. Just like my family, each of whom holds his or her papecal close.

At any rate, it’s the end of the year, and because there is a lot going on in work and life, there has been more papecal’in around in my life lately. Which means there is more Wite-Out. Why? Because there are corrections to be made. There are adjustments to incorporate. Things shift. Appointments change. Meetings are moved.

“But Mary,” you say, taking a chocolate from the festively-decorated box of chocolates on the table between us, “Why do you need Wite-Out for changes in your papecal? Just write things in pencil and erase them like a normal person.”

“I don’t do pencil,” I say, and I realize I have just taken a bite of a chocolate-covered cherry. I don’t do chocolate-covered cherries, either. I put the half-eaten chocolate on my napkin and then I try a different chocolate and this time it’s a caramel, thank goodness. I continue:

“I only do pen. I’m a pen-to-papecal kind of gal.”

You don’t really get it, but you have spotted a mellowcreme-shaped chocolate (milk, not dark) in the box and you’re going for it, so you don’t press me. Have I mentioned you have a few bits of stray tinsel in your hair? It’s really adorable.

I don’t know, there’s just something about Wite-Out. I love its chalky ways. I love its opaqueness. I love that it erases in white. Like, it’s a color, but it deletes. This is zen stuff, this correction fluid.* And I recently discovered there is off-white Wite-Out, for legal documents or illuminated manuscripts or something. The shade is the exact shade of the paper in my papecal! I bought three bottles, one for my purse, one for my desk. One for my other desk.

Back to work.


p.s. Wait! Did you know a lady invented Liquid Paper? Yes, Ms. Bettie Nesmith Graham is who we have to thank! I think there must be a Part II to this post all about Bettie.


9 Responses

  1. Janet
    | Reply

    I loved the stuff, too! Wite-Out and chocolates, that is. I used to say that if it wasn’t for Wite-Out I would never have graduated secretarial school. My fingers have minds of their own, you see.

    As for the yearly planner… well at one point I had not one, or two, but three (yes, three) planners going at one time. Now I live on my PC. Scary.

    I can’t begin to think about 2018 other than the need to get out the trash bin and the shredder. I may have to add that to my To Do list.

    Now, where is that box of chocolates?

  2. PinkDeenster
    | Reply

    Holy Wite-Out, PaperGirl! Gone are my days of scritchy scratches. Wite-Out, of COURSE! My life just improved.

  3. Pam
    | Reply

    When I taught elementary school, one of my sixth graders referred to it as Wipe-Out. I like it!

  4. Veronica
    | Reply

    Gorgeous post Mary – a lovely little read. to get the day off to a lovely start ( in Ireland , anyway) You make a wonderful , enjoyable thing that is a lovely mixture of a chat & a read. A word will make itself for it , one of these days ! Happy Christmas & thank you so much for all the wonderful & often wise bits of human-ness that you share with us. ⛄️xx Veronica

  5. Kristen
    | Reply

    I too use a paper planner. However, I like to write with a Frixon pen. It writes really nice, can be erased, and works great in my quilting room too!

  6. Pat Bock
    | Reply

    Mary: Tidbit for you…….I believe Mrs. Nesmith Graham is the mother of Mike Nesmith, a member of The Monkees, a band from the late 60s.

    • Laurinda Pudlo
      | Reply

      Pat, you are correct! (Mike was my favorite)

  7. Susan
    | Reply

    Way back when I was a mortgage processor with an IBM Selectric typewriter, very marginal typing skills and with multiple carbon copy forms to complete, white out, yellow out, blue out, pink out, and green out were my very best friends.

  8. Lila Retzer
    | Reply

    Back I the day of card catalog cards and trypewiters, I mixed buff and white to match the card catalog card stock. I am still a poor typist!

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