My Strange Obsession: Number Two Pencils
What is it about number two pencils that draws me? I have a strange obsession with the yellow number twos. Don’t try to give me any other color… as a matter of fact, I can’t stand the kind of pencils with really hard erasers that just smoodge the writing when you are trying to make a clean erase. I love the yellow Ticonderoga Number Two, with the soft pink eraser. Just today I found two brand new number two pencils in our basement on the piano. I think one of my two children must have left them there. I experienced such joy and pleasure when I picked up those pencils! I can’t explain it.
There’s a lesson here. Normally I like things that are luxurious and expensive, like an overnight stay at the Ritz Carlton, a meal in an elegant restaurant, or a beautiful car like a BMW or a Lexus. But number two pencils are neither luxurious nor expensive. But they give me such a rush of pleasure. Maybe it’s because they bring back good memories of my elementary school years, or maybe because I like the way they feel in my hand, or maybe because I like the idea of being able to write something then erase it so it disappears.
And I love to sharpen them. I am compelled to sharpen them actually. Yesterday I found one with a broken point in the kitchen drawer at a condo where we were staying, and I had to bring it home and sharpen it. When I say that I ‘had to,’ I literally felt compelled to get that pencil sharpened before I went to sleep last night. And I have it here next to my computer keyboard today, just waiting for me to write with it, use the eraser, and then write some more.
So where does this obsession come from? Please help me understand. I do have good memories of elementary school when I used a sharp number two pencil every day. But I don’t have good memories of taking SATs when you were required to bring your number two pencils. I had a flashback recently when I sharpened two number twos for my son Craig when he took his SATs. I remembered the anxiety I felt when I took the SATs in Hebron Academy’s Sargent Gymnasium at age 17. Those hours of exams were really nerve-wracking.
What is it about number two pencils that draws me? If you have any thoughts on my obsession, or if by chance, you share this obsession, please do leave a comment here.