Teacher creates sticky situation

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

It started in middle school. It was a teacher’s fault actually, a responsible adult, who first introduced me to it. Out of the blue. One minute I was sitting quietly at my desk reading and the next thing I knew she was walking around the classroom handing out something. Something we’d never seen before.

“Just try it,” I heard her say when another student asked her what it was. Others were fascinated, too, and I was curious, anxious to see, not realizing that my life was about to be changed forever. Then it happened.

“Here, it’s the newest thing,” she said and held one out to me — a bright yellow Post It note to use as a book mark. I smoothed it down on the page of my history book, one edge sticking out to keep my place. And just like that, I was hooked.

I am a Sticky Note addict.

It started out slowly. My very first Sticky Note lasted through at least two chapters of reading, maybe three, but soon lost its freshness and wouldn’t stick anymore. I had to have more. Soon my world became a canary yellow symphony of squares. Notes to my friends stuck to their lockers. My notebooks were covered in notes of “Don’t Forget” and “I Love Andy Gibb.”

By high school I could easily use one pack, two packs a week. Friends were bumming them off me. My parents didn’t seem to notice my excessive use, maybe thinking it was just a teenage phase.

It wasn’t until after college, I think, that I started experimenting with different sizes and different colors. I really liked the pink ones and the ones with lines. Oh, the lines. They were fantastic. The first time I saw a Sticky Note in the shape of a heart I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

My addiction affected the children.

“Mom, you can stop putting notes in my lunchbox,” my son told me at a very young age. Apparently, he didn’t want his friends to see his mom’s problem. Even when I caught our daughter trying to eat a Sticky Note as a baby, I didn’t completely give them up. I took them away from her, explained that they were only for older people and hid them. Thankfully, she wasn’t traumatized and has grown into a responsible Sticky Note user.

Looking around my desk at work I counted 32 Sticky Notes in an array of places, all scribbled in cryptic reminder — on my computer moniter, the wall, the bulletin board, in my calendar, the phone, one stuck to my purse and a tiny one stuck to a set of keys. On it simply written — keys.

There is hope.

Walking into Office Depot earlier this week, I was immediately pulled like a moth drawn to flame to the Post It note display, that wall of brightly colored notes in all shapes and sizes. Squares and hearts and stars. Ones with pictures of puppies and others with grids and lines and teeny tiny ones that you can pull from the cap of pen. Sticky Utopia. Right there in front of me.

I stood there for a good five minutes, longing for just one more pack. But I walked away. I walked away. I left that day with a pack of printer paper and three pens as visions of the three unopened packs of Sticky Notes I had in my desk keeping me strong.

“It’s the newest thing,” she said that fine day oh-so-long-ago. If only she knew.

I’m in a sticky situation, indeed.

Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at flyn1862@bellsouth.net.