It’s true. Admitting it is half the battle, right?
I realized my love for paper in 3rd grade when our elementary art teacher would ask for volunteers to stay after and help clean up the art room and we would get paid in….tissue paper! Yes, tissue paper! Gloriously colored, yet almost transparent, large pieces that folded in half and stacked nicely with other pieces of tissue paper. I worked so hard for the daily pay of 2-3 giant sheets of brightly colored tissue paper. By the end of the school year, I had acquired quite the collection. I had every glorious color! The whole stack of paper that symbolized the many hours of cleaning paint brushes and sweeping floors. My paper junkie bounty! My paper junkie savings! My paper junkie glory, and in retrospect, my paper junkie hoarding.
At the end of 3rd grade, my parents had moved us out of Old Town Arvada. I attended Lawrence Elementary School in Old Town Arvada K-3rd grade, and then was moved to Allendale Elementary for 4th-6th grade. I recall being “the new kid” and perhaps also “the weird kid” OK…no “perhaps” needed there. I WAS the weird kid, and being the new and weird kid made me want to be friends with the popular girls in school. I tried with many failed attempts to be friends with them. The key to popular girl friendship, back then, was to trade off your cool pens, pencils etc. with the others and sometimes only owning an item for mere hours. At this age, it was also really apparent to me that I was also a stationary nerd too. Me? Trade my awesome calico kitten Trapper Keeper or Care Bear pencils for your crappy sparkly pen that’s half out of ink? That was hardly my style. But I do remember settling on trading off a few pieces of my hard-earned and brightly colored tissue paper to one of the most popular girls in school. I was pleased with my new false friend I thought I made due to my tissue paper trade.
The next day, my new friend asked to trade me more “cool kid items” for more tissue paper in different colors. I was hesitant, yet eager to keep this friend, so I agreed. A couple of days had gone by when I was horrified to see the popular girl had actually used my paper to make a poster of her favorite teen heartthrob. Like…SHE ACTUALLY USED IT!!!! All Willy Nilly!!! To make a poster that spelled out “I love Corey Haim” in my tissue paper! REALLY? Never again! Not for all the popular girl friendships that just want to craft a poster proclaiming their love for Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, NSYNC or Justin Beiber!
It’s hilarious to me now that I can recall my outrage over the misuse of my beloved tissue paper. But you don’t want to mess with a paper junkie’s paper. We have hopes, ideas and dreams on what we are going to use our paper for. We may not know at the moment our exact plan for it, but I’m certain I had ideas written down in my calico kitten Trapper Keeper.