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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.

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  1. RageMichelle

    RageMichelle on 08/30/2013 10:26 a.m. #

    I am not attached to a lot of things, but I get what you are saying. I love my Alice in Wonderland prints and my world would end without my brand of makeup

  2. Amy

    Amy on 08/30/2013 11:37 a.m. #

    One of the few things Dan and I took across country when we moved to NYC was our incredibly fragile wedding dishes. They are made at a special place near Santa Cruz, and I just couldn't leave them behind in storage. We crossed through the bumpiest road in Wyoming(near Yellowstone) and I could hear those dishes rattling around in the back. They survived all of our moves. We barely use them, but it gives me great satisfaction to look at them in my cabinets!

  3. Rebecca

    Rebecca on 08/31/2013 10:57 p.m. #

    I still love my first set of dishes, too, Heidi, although they're still packed in boxes at the moment. And pencils and my sharpener are great loves, too. Nothing gives me more pleasure, still, that sharpening my art pencils in preparation of sketches for a new painting. Maybe Symone is destined to be an artist!! Wouldn't that be grand!!! Just like her mom!

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