Sunday, September 11, 2011

Memories triggered by school supplies

My mother-in-law came across this box of pencils in an antique store in St. Louis. She was so excited when she found them that the shop owner gave them to her for free. Mary was disappointed that they were not Bulgarian but I was just as happy to receive them. These six pencils look so much like my childhood! It felt even more so when I started sharpening them and they kept cracking and breaking.

Seriously, all of you who grew up on cheap communist era school supplies, do you remember the excitement of getting a new box of pencils or a new drawing pad or new markers, only to be so deeply disappointed once you figured out that the pencils were of such poor quality that you couldn't sharpen them and the paper was so thin that once you made a mark it bled all the way to the bottom of your pad or that all the markers produced more or less the same color- faded and pathetic- that you couldn't even be bothered to switch between pens and ended up with drawings that were all red, all blue, all green. And they all looked kind of angry.

Also, isn't it strange how memory works?! That what was once a source of tremendous disappointment can at another point in time and place be the cause of such pure joy?! And vice versa, I guess.

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