Monday, March 13, 2006

First love


Though my blog’s title indicates a love for shoes it doesn’t mean that only footwear can get my heart racing and my palms sweating. No, no. Being the generous person I am I see nothing wrong in sharing the love. With books, bags and cashmere sweaters that I swear purr when stroked, (I guess I should add The Sherpa to the list – after all he does help finance some of my more extravagant obsessions, so) The Sherpa.

Many of these are recent paramours. Except the shoes. No, that love affair started when I was 10 and my father took me to buy a pair for my birthday. The finance minister of our home (my mother) had issued a budget of Rs. 250. After much lower lip quivering and around the little finger twisting I managed to procure myself a pair for Rs. 750. They were brown leather lace ups with ever so slightly pointy toes. How I loved them.

As usual I digress. This post isn’t about shoes but another first love of mine. As a child I would run around department stores, greedy hands reaching out and touching everything my chubby fingers could reach. Not toys or Barbie dolls - no, I was pursuing a far more superior path of consumerism. Stationery in all its glorious forms.

Pink Hello Kitty journals and Snoopy post-it notes. Donald Duck erasers and pencil boxes adorned with Pokemon’s ancestors. Pens that not only released ink but also a sickly sweet perfume. But my number 1 love was notebooks.

I adored the smell - clean and pure. The pages smooth and unsullied. The corners still sharp before time and being squashed in the back of my drawer bent them into submission. Some became diaries. Other repositories of ‘To do’ lists. Though for the life of me I can’t remember what I populated those lists with – Eat wheetabix for breakfast? Play with Flower Power Barbie (who was more garden fairy that mod chick). In others I wrote stories that were never finished and always featured a blonde girl called Jessica May. Some bore my first attempts at art. Stick figures dressed in triangular skirts, boxy jackets and - even at age 8 - insanely high heels.

I could never see a notebook through to the end though. After a few months I would lose interest. The pages were no longer new. The excitement would subside and be replaced by loathsome familiarity. And like a fickle teenager I would transfer my affections to a new flavour of the month without little thought for the feelings of my former beau. In a year I had amassed a small pile of half used diaries and pads. Tainted with my scribbles and of no use to any one else.

In later years this obsession proved troublesome. When I started working, the office supply cupboard proved too hard to resist. Rows of shiny notebooks, envelopes, glue sticks and jars of candy coloured paper clips that were waiting for me to dip my hand in and satisfy the greedy 8 year old that still lurked inside. The expensive roller ball pens, the pencils sharpened to perfection – even the clear plastic folders weren’t safe from me. A few months in to my first job and admin began insisting that all staff showed proof that they needed new stationery.

While many of my youthful fancies have come and gone (like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) my crush on notebooks has developed in to a far more mature affair. The mouthless Japanese cat has been replaced by understated black moleskine and the leaking, pens held together by cello tape have been discarded for writing instruments that don’t turn by skin Quink blue.

But every now and then the 8 year inside manifests. In perfumed erasers, ventricular rulers and pens that leave a shiny, wet trail of glittery pink words.

Ps. For those of you that didn't notice, this post was just an excuse for me to tell all of you that I have a moleskine notebook and link to the site. I may never write like Hemingway but at least I have the notebook. :P

9 comments:

Reshma said...

amusing read:)now with all the moral airs of someone who uses up the other side of envelopes and print outs to make notes, let me chide the 8 year old you.tsk tsk.

Siri said...

You knw Shoe Fiend, I feel sheepish everytime i went to Archies or Landmark and saw varied kinds of crisp stationery and got excited! Now your blog gives me strngth. I love colourful pens against the standard issue of reynolds at offices. I like books with nice pastel shaded paper. I love the smell of new books. Maybe I should write a post about it since I have so much to vent about.

Siri said...

Oh..and i also love the way your blog looks!

anjali said...

Me too! Absolutely LOVE buying/hoarding paper products and pens...particularly hand-made paper stuff. I probably have the biggest collection of handmade paper after the Chimanlal's store in Bombay.

I know exactly what you mean when you say office supplies started disappearing. I am guilty of taking from our office supplies multiple clean note books with smooth paper, ruled paper, colored paper, recycled paper...you name it, I have it on my desk! My company too moved away from those pilot pens to basic ballpoints, which i refuse to write with. I went and bought a ton of lovely pens with my own hard earned money and use them for official work! But I still go around once in a while to check if they have any new pens I could add to my collection. Nothing hurts me more than random people flicking pens off my desk. I have once even followed my boss to his office and asked him to return my pen! :)

1$ Saint said...

dis blog only remind me of ur colorful bin...lolz...did u carry it 2 london 2?....

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

reshma - :( she feels suitably chastised

siri - thanks! Yes! write! and give your love for stationery an appropriate outlet. if you keep it inside you might find yourself forced in to deviant behaviour.


anjali - as a bonafide 'other people's pens' thief all i can say is forgive us. it's a disease

c not o- yes! my colourful bin did made the trip to london with me!

shyam said...

My downfall is reams of plain paper - white or coloured, especially the slightly glossy kind. Makes me such a Scrooge, wanting to hoard it all whether I use it or not! :)

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