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.


On Tripping & Falling.

posted in: Day In The Life, Story, Tips 1
German warning sign. That's what my box looked like! Photo: Wikipedia
German warning sign. That’s what my box looked like! Photo: Wikipedia

Yesterday I tripped and fell flat on my back. Since I’m okay, it’s hilarious.

It’s strange to trip and fall down as an adult. Toddlers fall all the time because they’re figuring out how to walk. Children fall because they’re running and playing. And of course the elderly fall sometimes and that is dangerous and can even lead to death if they can’t get to a phone for help or if the fall is particularly bad, what with all those brittle bones. But to fall all the way down to the ground in one’s thirties is a rare occurrence and disorienting.

Here’s what happened: I had to ship a huge box of wardrobe and quilts to Chicago. I printed out my UPS label and went to take it down to the front desk of my building for pickup. On the way to the elevator, I decided to just push the box with my foot; I had my purse and my computer bag in my hands.

When I got to the elevator and the doors opened, I kept trying to kick the box in but it was getting caught in the space between the hall and the floor of the elevator. I leaned into the box and when I really tried to give it a shove with my whole leg, that’s when I fell, tumbling over the box, right into the elevator. I was “a– over elbows,” as they say; finding myself looking at the ceiling of the elevator. My purse went flying and my computer bag fell with me with a troubling thud.

After I recovered, I burst out laughing. Then I got up to collect my things and myself off. The elevator doors kept trying to shut on that darned box until I finally pulled the thing in. I thanked my lucky stars no one had seen this.

The last time I fell as an adult, I was walking on an icy sidewalk. And in middle school, I was running way too fast and tripped on concrete, flat on my face. I broke my nose or at least cracked it; I never saw a doctor, so I have this strange little bump on the side of my nose that has never gone away. You can’t really see it, but I know it’s there.

Watch your step.