Like every other parent this week, I’ve been out hunting down school supplies.

List in hand, I’ve gone through and carefully crossed off everything, except that one elusive item that you can never find, every year. There’s always one.


Now at this point I should make an admission. I have a stationery fetish. Well, it’s actually more of an obsession. And it’s contagious. Both my kids are now afflicted.

I have more stationery than I could ever hope to use in my lifetime. In several lifetimes actually. And yet….I still keep seeing things that I never knew I couldn’t do without until I saw them and then couldn’t possibly consider living without them.

My obsession aside, there is a serious question here. “Does the perfect pencil case exist?” Anyone who loves stationery can attest to the fact that a good (better still great) pencil case is fundamental to stationery nirvana.

Given I’m a writer and work with pencils, pens and similar tools of my trade every day; you’d think I’d have it nailed by now.

And yet given the explosion in stationery choices including designer brands such as kikki.K, Typo, Smiggle and Notemaker, I’ve yet to find one that satisfies. They’re always too big, small, ugly, flat, thin or poorly thought through in usage. I often wonder if the people who design them actually use them in practice.

If I counted how many pencil cases I’ve laid to rest since childhood, I’m sure they would outnumber my entire extended family over several generations. That’s a lot of bad pencil case ju-ju to live with. I sometimes wonder if I’ve been unfair.

But now that I have two children on a similar hunt, we compared notes today. We have agreed they always fail in at least one of the following areas:

  1. Too big for portability or too small for practicality.
  2. Their design is too basic for easy use or too advanced for simplicity of use; never in between.
  3. They never have the right things in them or rather, right place for things; they are just a jumble.

Or maybe in truth, a pencil case is just an expression of your nature – ordered, organised, jumbled, expressive or random.


Photo via stock.xchng user konarska


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