My daughter is in love with a pencil sharpener.
It’s true; she told me so. It’s nothing really special, just a small pink container to hold the shavings that twirl off one of the two sharpening blades.
Yet, she obsessed for two days about how she was getting a pencil sharpener and once she had it, she promptly began sharpening every pencil she could find.
I would question her sanity except that her obsession reminds me a bit of one of my silly loves: my dishes from Crate and Barrel. They are nothing special either, just simple white dishes with slight ridges. Since the day they arrived as a wedding present more than 13 years ago, they have made me smile.
I suspect that some of that pleasure comes from what these dishes symbolize. Family meals and wedding vows, you might assume.
Nope, these dishes meant I had graduated beyond Corelle. You know the ones I’m talking about. I grew up with those unbreakable plates and they were the kind I bought when I left for college. Mine were white with a blue-flowered border.
The day my Crate and Barrel dishes arrived, I said good-bye to Corelle for good. I had arrived at some odd, self-proclaimed level of sophistication. I finally felt like a grownup.
To this day, those dishes give me a sense of contentment. I broke one of the bowls the first year we had them. I meant to replace it but never did. Somehow having that one defect in my otherwise perfect set took off the pressure of keeping them pristine. Instead I could merely enjoy them.
So I understand my daughter’s pencil sharpener love. Maybe knowing that she can be trusted with a “knife” for trimming her pencils gives her five-year-old self a sense of independence, a sense that she too is growing up. Or maybe she actually does need therapy for this weird obsession—time will tell.