Good-night, Sweet Swingline
Alas, stuff of mine has been breaking lately. Specifically:
Glasses nose piece: Popped into the eye doc’s to get a new one put on and didn’t notice till I got home that the new one is clear and in contrast, the used one on the other side is darkened with age and skin wax? Not sure which is dorkier—the lopsided effect or the fact that I’m relatively unbothered by it.
Window squeegee: Which I’m not going to count because who wants to wash the windows anyways?
My flat iron: No real surprise when you have excess horse-like hair. I upgraded to a Conair Infiniti 44 mm tourmaline ceramic model that came with Argan Oil Fusion Conditioning Anti-Frizz oil and guarantees 89% less frizz.
My old Swingline stapler: I didn’t realize how sentimental I was about my old stapler until I dropped it on the tile floor and caused irreparable damage. As I recall, that Swingline had been with me since 1997, when I set up my first home office in Danville, California. It was a workhorse. Since then I’ve changed jobs, houses, hometown, and men, but my Swingline outlasted them all.
My Swingline stapler was black with a green racing stripe. It had some scratches on the hull, but I didn’t care. To me, it was beautiful. It stapled together receipts, manuscripts, and tax returns. It chomped through pages and pages of student homework. It didn’t complain when I carelessly double stapled or when I added extra pages at the last minute.
I would have accepted it if Swingline had grown stiffer and weaker and finally given up the ghost after so many years. I would have said, “Good-bye, old friend. You stood by me through thick and thin sheaves of paper, and maybe I didn’t appreciate you enough, but you deserve to go to that great stapler resting place out behind my carport.”
But instead, our parting was shocking and abrupt. Oops, crash, smash, the spring was sprung, the hinge undone. After at least five minutes of denial, during which I nervously tried to staple several single sheets of paper to no avail, I had to admit the Swingline had been broken to death at my own hand.
I can’t believe I’m this sad about a stapler. But I am.
I’m sure there’s a connection to writing craft that could be made, but I’m too upset to make it. Yes, I got a new stapler. It’s a modern Swingline. Pink. We’re slowly getting to know each other. I’m trying, but it’s not really the same and probably won’t be for a very long time.
That is all.
XO Laurel Leigh
Hi Laurel, Congrats on the house deal! This post made me smile. I’m still using the Swingline stapler I bought my mom, and she died over 25 years ago!
Naomi! Thanks for reading my post. I have to say there is nothing like those nostalgic items that hang around as common household items until one day you realize it’s a treasure. I have made friends with my new Swingline though and hope it have it for many more years.
And sorry to be so absent from blog world. I’m crawling back in the saddle as soon as I unpack the last nine freakin’ boxes! XO
Hi Laurel, I sure know how that goes. Good luck with the move. Keep us posted. Warmly, n
Thank you, thank you!
My condolences on the stapler. I have a Pilot stapler that was my father’s, and I am quite attached to it. It is an all metal beast and I’m hoping to leave it to my kids some day.
I’m so glad you understand! How awesome that you have your dad’s Pilot. It is going to mean a lot to your kids to have it.
Hey, it’s hard to lose the things we use every day and that remind us of our craft, our passion, our profession — the things that are our staples in life….ha!
You are too hilarious! I’m laughing so hard right now.
My condolences, my friend. But I am glad to hear that you have begun the healing process.
You should consider yourself lucky. Sometimes after the loss of a beloved stapler, things can go downhill very quickly:
LOL, Mike. I’m worried about Laurel, now. I’m thinking she and her papers could come undone, “go postal” as they used to say. We need an intervention!
It’s okay, Jil. I just stapled a few pages to my neighbor’s head. I feel just great, and he looks better.
I’m FedEx-ing her a box of binder clips as we speak.
Thank you for all of your care and concern, my friends. I am ready to admit my stapler issues and to accept the help and care that I need. I have made friends with some paper clips and one rubber band. Baby steps, but I am healing and thankful for the process.
I can use those binder clips on my neighbor’s lips the next time he mouths off about how I wear PJs until noon. Neighbors don’t understand writers, but they will. Oh, yes, they will. Did you FedEx those binder clips for early morning delivery by chance?
Phewf! Way to head off an explosive situation. No Mt. St. Helens activity in the Pac Northwest.
Ha ha ha ha! You two are so hilarious. Thanks for giving me lots of reasons to laugh today!
Ha ha! I seriously needed a dose of stapler violence. You are a true friend indeed. I’m healed!
Thank you, Laurel. I also have objects, although I hesitate to use that word, as they are more like companions. There is a loss process involved, I am another witness. best to you ~
Thank you for the kind words and understanding, Mary! At least my old Citizen desk calculator still works, and I shall try not to drop it. xo
Parting with such (un)sweet sorrow. And, no, you will never, ever, find another black Swingline with green racing stripes.
(Look – you ARE a poet “the spring was sprung, the hinge undone”)
Ha ha, you are pretty funny. And right. There will never be another black and green Swingline.
Ha ha, maybe I am getting the hang of this poetry thing!
My Grandfather’s attempt to ease my mother’s angst only added fuel to the fire of her frustration when she was forced to face the complexity of non-functioning “stuff.” (Good thing she didn’t have to deal with technology!)
He used to pat her on the shoulder and say, “These little things are sent to try us.”
I love it. Thank you for that, Marion!
Heartbreaking, Laurel. Just heartbreaking. Where should I send the flowers?
Thank you for your kind understanding! If you are sending flowers, could you toss in a box of staples? Forget to get those.
Do they make staples to match the color of the stapler?
Yes, because the pink one is of course breast cancer awareness, so there are staples to match. Which reminds me that I bumped into a big, studly looking guy wearing pink tennis shoes and he told me they were in honor of his mom, which was rather wonderful.
No THAT is awesome! I think she’s got a terrific son.