There’s a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Well, color me crazy.
You know those clippy things on pens and mechanical pencils that allow you to clip them to your shirt pocket?
Did you know that they have a name?
It’s called a “clip.”
Anyway, I’ve been inadvertently snapping these off of pens and pencils for years now. And every single time I do it, it surprises me.
And then I get really mad at myself for doing it because I should know better by now.
I mean, really—here’s what happens. I pick up a brand-new, shiny pen or pencil. I admire said pen or pencil and resolve that this time—this time!!!—I will not snap off the clip. It will stay on whichever writing implement I’m using until the ink runs dry or the lead runs out.
I’m okay for a few minutes. One time, I even made it a few days when using a pencil. I was so proud of myself.
But then, the inevitable happens. I start to daydream. Or I get caught up in something I’m writing. Or I’m talking with someone on the phone and pick up the soon-to-be damaged writing utensil and begin twirling it around.
Then, there’s a snap! And the clip flies across my desk, across the bed, or across the room.
(Normally, I would write here that the very next thing I do is curse. But this is a family newspaper. So I never curse. Ever. Seriously.)
And then I get angry that, once again, I’ve snapped the clip off.
I know in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal.
Lots of folks chew on pens and pencils, and then they’re stuck admitting their habit to a friend, co-worker, or family member when he or she needs to use one. The guilty person hangs his or her head in shame, and hands over something that looks like it was attacked by a group of hungry wolves.
I decided that I would force myself to break this habit. How?
Each time I broke a clip off, I would put it in a tiny, plastic see-through container right on my desk—where I will see it every single day.
Guess how well that’s worked?
I counted them, and I’ve got 54 clips in the container as of this writing.
And I’ve only been keeping track since last fall.
I’m hanging my head in shame as I’m writing this. My husband just pointed it out to me.
Then he added, “That averages out to about two a week.”
Fine. Mr. I Know Everything.
Mr. I Never Break My Pens or Pencils.
Mr. How Will It Feel to Sleep on the Couch Tonight?!
Is there a 12-step program for breaking pen and pencil clips? Probably not.
But if so, sign me up.
If I try to do it, I’ll just break the pen clip.
Michele Wojciechowski, when she’s not getting hit in the face with a clip she’s just snapped off of a pen, writes “Wojo’s World®”(on her computer!) from Baltimore.