Nutty with a Dash of Meat Jeanette Levellie here to share with you about a new 12-Step Program for Authors:
“Hello. Welcome to O.P.A. My name is Jeanette and I am addicted to pens with scented ink, sticky notes, and highlighters. Let’s go around the circle and say our names—first name only, please, to keep our anonymity—and what types of office products we’re addicted to.”
Thus begins a chapter meeting of the newest 12-step program of Office Products Anonymous. I started this group after attending half a dozen writers’ conferences at which I repeatedly heard, “I am addicted to pens (or notebooks, or mechanical pencils).” I wanted to help those being tempted to spend their grocery and mortgage payment money on glitter gel pens or scented highlighters in 48 colors. I ached for the children of O.P.A.’s who must eat macaroni and cheese for dinner five nights a week for the sake of their parent’s compulsion to buy every new shade of sticky note.
When I managed an office supply store I realized that writers are not the only ones afflicted and addicted. Every week someone would come in and browse for new styles of pens or different shapes of paper clips, then lower their voice three octaves to say, “I have this obsession. My kids are sworn to secrecy about the hundreds of pens in my bottom dresser drawer—if their dad ever found out, he’d put me on a pen allowance!”
I nodded in understanding and comforted them with, “I hear that all the time—you’re not alone.” Tears sprang to their eyes as they realized there were others out there who knew how they felt. That’s when the idea came to get these folks together and encourage them in the everyday angst brought on by the disease of office product addiction.
But at that first meeting a thought flashed into my mind that I should be applauding my fellow-addicts for their choice of addictions. I should be getting out my orange pom-poms and cheering them on with “Gimme a P, gimmee an E, gimmee an N!” They weren’t overdosing on notebooks and binder clips, then going home and beating up their spouses—they were using these items to write stories, to organize their lives, to decorate the world with colors. So I started a new club—one which I’d love you to join.
Our first meeting of the NAOOP Club will meet next Tuesday evening at 7 P.M. Please bring your favorite office product to share, and we will show the world that we are Not Ashamed of Office Products once and for all.
Of course, the above is a fictionalized account. I hope it helps you realize that some of the smartest people on the planet are addicted to office products. And that’s okay. Feel better?