Monday, November 12, 2007

Checking it twice.

I love paper. There: I said it.

I don't love paper in an unhealthy way; I've never been tempted to eat it, for example, but I do wince when I hear the phrase "paperless society." I'm sure that's all well and good for the trees of the world, but it's a terrible omen for paperphiles like me.

My heart skips a full beat when I come across an especially lovely journal, stationery set, notepad or sketchbook. I swoon at clean, white, unlined pages that swear to store whatever silly sentiment, botched poem or mission statement bobs into my head at any given time.

And once such thoughts are recorded, there's nothing more delicious than stumbling across them a few years down the road. That's why I've had such fun this week, paging through an old diary from my post-college years.

I confess that I'm sorely tempted to shred a few entries that seem too awkward and foolish and emotionally overwrought for posterity. But somehow I manage to resist the urge, and leave them be.

After all, I have to force myself to throw away grocery lists, so I could never truly part with the lunatic, rambling retelling of, and I quote, "the forcible, non-optional removal of my four wisdom teeth." I had never, but NEVER, known pain even remotely like this before.

Needless to say, I had never birthed a child before. Adorable naivete.

Because I was (yes: am) an intermittent diarist, this one slender book, featuring Matisse's silhouette of Icarus, encompasses nearly five years of scribbles and scrawls.

Among them, my favorites are the lists. I kept lists of things that made me happy, relevant quotes, itemized intentions, witty musings from co-workers and, of course, resolutions at the cusp of each new year. A snippet from the early hours of 1994:

Enjoy this wedding.
Watch my posture.
Find an apartment with a good, clean kitchen, and start cooking again.
Start an exercise routine, and keep a record of what I eat.
Buy a few good bras.
Smile more.
Either water my plants daily, or throw them away.

Lofty goals, indeed.

I haven't written out resolutions for a few years now, but it doesn't matter; I can borrow pretty freely from these lists gone by. I suspect I'll forever intend to start an exercise routine, for example, and maintaining a decent selection of bras is always a good idea.

If I ever tire of my own lists, I can even sneak a peek into the lives of others, thanks to a book I bought today. It's a compilation, with commentary, of the to-do lists of complete and total strangers. Such voyeuristic fun to read the pro v. con chart of someone else's job or boyfriend. Or both.

Also fun? Sarah Kate's challenge to list your childhood celebrity crushes. Join in the fun, check out the comments to find out what Trey and I had to say about such, or just enjoy the eye candy. You're welcome.

And that, for now, is all that's fit to print. THE END.


Blogger anniemcq said...

I love this. Last year I came upon a book of poetry I started when I was eight years old. Dedicated to my third grade teacher, no less.

I love paper, too, but right now, I have too much of it, in too many piles around my house!

6:12 AM  
Anonymous trabilcobb said...

My favorite is "smile more." Like that's a big problem for you.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

oh my- this totally reminds me. I used to make lists when I would fly home from a business trip- and found one in a coat pocket. It was "accessorize more" and buy complete outfits. Now, I'm lucky if I remember to wear underwear and take a shower. Funny what having kids does!

6:22 PM  

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