Before we start, does anyone have a handy mnemonic device for remembering that stationery (with an 'e') means writing paper and stationary (with an 'a') means standing still? Also, if you could supply a similar way to remember that cemetery is the place where they bury people, and Cemetary is the 90s Swedish gothic metal band? My life would be much simpler.
I have a very impressive collection of stationery. I mean, if you're impressed by that sort of thing. My stockpile includes writing paper, note cards, cards for occasions, fancy paper and fancy envelopes, some of which even match. I get the stuff at discount stores, thrift stores, and yard sales. I've been collecting it a while. I only recently finished up using some stationery that I received from being a member of the Baby-sitter's Club Book Club, not to mention some that my brother printed for me around 1995. I do not currently have any Lisa Frank stationery (careful, that web site is excruciatingly girly). I wish I did, because I would love to send mail featuring my very favorite Lisa Frank character, Bananigans.
I keep it all in a clear plastic storage container. Well, I would keep all of it in there, except that my collection has outgrown its storage. It's a weakness of mine. But like any good weakness, I've found a way to justify it to myself. Seriously, I can quit anytime I want.
My justification is that I do use the stuff to send mail to other people, and receiving mail makes those other people happy. In fact, I have a pen pal. She's a nursing home patient in California. I bet you did not know that about me. You think I'm a good person now.
I find that snail mail has a very good effort to happiness ratio. It really doesn't take that much effort to scratch down a note and stick it in the mail. But people go nuts. Mail! In the mailbox! That they can hold in their hands! You'd be amazed at what one little personal card can do in this age of electronic mail and junk mail. And then your friends will think you are so kind and so considerate and you will feel good because you are indeed so kind and so considerate. It's all about making yourself feel good.
I also use the stuff to send birthday cards. My New Year's resolution last year was to send cards to every member of my family on their birthdays. I get very few thank you cards or emails or any sort of acknowledgment at all. But that's okay, because I don't do it to be thanked, and I don't fault parents for being busy. When I do get a thank you back, it's very sweet. When I don't get one, I think about how cool it is to have time that I can fritter away on mail-related hobbies instead of on expensive and needy hobbies with snotty noses that look like mine.
I do it to throw out a line to people. Maybe someday down the road, one of my twenty nieces or nephews is going to remember that they have an aunt that they don't see all that often but who remembers them and is there if needed. I'm just keeping the communication lines open.
So now you know some things you might not have known about me. Let's sum up.
1. I have a lot of stationery.
2. I used to be in the Baby-sitter's Club Book Club.
3. My favorite Lisa Frank character is Bananigans (since this afternoon when I looked up Lisa Frank on Wikipedia and saw that inspired name in the list of characters).
4. I have a pen pal.
5. I am very selfish and have elaborate plots to make myself feel good.
6. I can't remember how to spell stationery (had to look it up), but I do know how to spell mnemonic. If there is a branch of psychology that deals with spelling, this might provide a very interesting glimpse into my psyche.
7. There was a Swedish gothic metal band in the 1990s named Cemetary.
That last one's not actually about me at all.