Office Supplies Will Save Us All.

posted in: Chicago, Day In The Life 0
Office supply store, Poland. Photo: Wikipedia
Office supply store, Poland. Photo: Wikipedia

I’m under the weather. I’m body-achy, I’ve got heavy-head-on-necky, and my eyeballs are dry. I’m serious, they’re dry. I continually require drops. What can it mean?

Perhaps the two-hour walk I took yesterday evening pushed me into this. The night was colder than I anticipated. I had been out earlier and it wasn’t too bad, but the temperature had dropped. Not realizing this, I made a suboptimal coat decision.

I needed to walk. I had no destination, just the desire to get out, move my legs. Sometimes I work all day and realize at 7pm that I haven’t gone anywhere but from my desk to the kitchen to the couch and back. This doesn’t bother me, usually. But a brutal nightmare woke me from my power nap that afternoon and the hours following that were just weird. I felt weird, I felt sad. A walk seemed the thing to do, so I grabbed my wallet and my favorite tote bag and hit Wabash Avenue.

Nietzsche said that the best thoughts are conceived while walking. I think he was right on that one; the rhythm of your feet helps sort things out up top. I was sorting out but not liking what piles were forming and actually going deeper into my funk…when the glowing lights of a Staples store shone in the distance and I immediately felt one-thousand times better.

I love office supplies. I squeal when I unscrew a fresh bottle of Wite-Out. I can’t talk about PaperMate felt-tip pens or I’ll need a hanky. The small, sturdy boxes with staples inside. Paperclips! Folders of all colors and styles: hanging, tabbed, pocket, no-pocket, etc. Tabs. All the tabs. Stickers. My mother says that if you love office supplies, you’ll love making quilts. I think the converse is true, as well: if you make quilts, you probably love office supplies. My little sister and I used to play “School” up in the toy room on the farm. I thought about that as I floated through the aisles last night. This is the difference between kids and adults. We do not play “Work” after we get home.

As a rule, I don’t shop for entertainment. When I go into a store, I’m there for a reason, for an errand. But last night, I needed to go up and down the aisles, touch office supplies, and select some to put into my handbasket. An hour before closing, it was pretty much just me and the two employees in the store and they couldn’t have cared less about me. I had the place to myself. I studied paper. I deliberated over the thin highlighters or the thick ones. I considered purchasing a slim spiral folder with the bend-back cover that I don’t need but might need soon. I put that back, barely.

It helped. Sometimes I resist taking a walk because taking a walk for no reason, by myself, can seem sort of pathetic. But that’s silly. Walking is a noble thing to do. Even if the chill I got made me sickly, the walk snapped me out of myself, which is what I needed. It snapped me out of myself and into Staples and here I am.