Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Home office items don't need to be glamorous. Things like staplers, push pins, tape, paper clips and staple removers are utilitarian by nature. Most of mine are scattered across my desk, or lost altogether when I actually need them. Seems every time I turn around I'm buying more Scotch tape, yet I can never find it when I need to wrap or affix anything. Six months later I find three rolls under the bathroom sink with the receipt still in the bag - that kind of deal.

Rather than keep replacing and immediately losing everyday office supplies, I embarked on collecting the items I could lay my hands on, and at least putting them all in a box so I could do some kind of inventory. Though I'm still missing many items I distinctly remember owning, including however many dozen rolls of tape, I did come up with most of the basics.

I have paper clips, push pins, sticky notes, scissors, pens, pencils, markers and highlighters. I have scads of yellow note pads and spiral notebooks; many are half used and undated. I'm missing my 3 ring hole punch. I'm missing assorted staple removers, and my manicure shows it. I have two tape dispensers, probably missing another two, and still no tape. I found one Swingline #27 stapler, which is sort of cute and vintage, but I know there are at least two more someplace, older and cuter. I recently saw a box of staples, but have no recollection where. They're probably partying with all those rolls of tape, the errant little bastards.

I look forward to the office redo, when I will be more organized. (Ha! Just kidding.) Taking stock in what I have is a nice baby step, methinks.

After an inspiring hour on Pinterest I decided to spruce up some of my home office items. Yes, I too could have a perfectly coordinated desktop suite with "the transformational magic of color," and I had an assortment of spray paint to make it happen.

I thought my perfectly preserved, putty colored Swingline #27 would look fabulous in glossy white, with gleaming gold accents. You know, like all the white-and-gold Pinterest divas with their requisite ghost chairs flaunt. I meticulously cleaned the old Swingline, then grabbed my blue painter's tape and masked off the working parts, and set to putting down a perfectly smooth coat of Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss White.

That was yesterday. Yesterday, the Swingline was a thing of beauty, though I felt one more coat of white would take it from beautiful to perfection. I don't have the pics to prove it, but you'll have to trust me.

Today, I ran to Home Depot for more spray paint. No Krylon. Oh well. For white, I bought Rustoleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Paint + Primer in Gloss White, plus a can of Rustoleum Metallic Gold. With those two critical purchases, I was mere minutes away from having the most beautiful Swingline #27 ever owned by mortal man.

I dashed home, grabbed the sexy white Swingline, and eagerly started applying the white Rustoleum. The first few seconds of application went without a hitch, but suddenly the spray began to sputter and splatter like drywall mud shot from a firehose.


My beautiful Swingline looked like it was caught in a white shitstorm. Ruined. Absolutely ruined. I stepped back in horror at my most beautiful creation ever ever ever, now covered in blobs o' crap. Then, right before my eyes, the paint surface began to contract and swirl and squish like wet tissue paper. After thinking blobs were the worst problem, the crinkle effect just took horror to a new level.

Witness the ruination of a perfectly innocent Swingline #27, a stapler that dedicated its lifetime to doing one thing, and doing it well, and its only sin was its unremarkable putty color, until silly ole me decided to 'beautify' it.

Epic fail. Paint stripper, anyone?

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About Robin D

Robin D. is a regular MacGyver-on-a-budget around the house, on a mission to make everything in life more awesome by Being Awesome, even when the proverbial wheels fall off. A fan of art history, power tools, anti-aging skin care and profanity.


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