Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Paper Clips and Candy

For some reason tonight, I can't sleep which seems to be a recent trend. It's not a bad this-is-terrible-if-I-go-to-sleep-right-now-I'll-get-four-hours but rather a there-may-be-too-much-on-my-mind-to-sleep type of night.

Over the last few days at work, we've decided that we need a declared cleaning day where we will all where grubby clothes and clean out desks, file cabinets, etc and get rid of the stuff that no one has looked at in the last 20 years. In order to help us, Sandra ordered a book on how to organize your office. I was flipping through it this afternoon and realized that I am currently breaking ALL of the "Thou shall nots" on the list. ALL of them. Every single one.

Where did I get this? I know exactly where. Granddaddy. Yes, it's not fair to blame your problems on someone who can't stick up for themselves. But, I know that he is in heaven laughing his head off at how deplorable my office is right now. Not out right laughing, but the side laugh he did where he would duck his head and chuckle- not loud like most people-but a laugh that comes from within of pure enjoyment over the situation.

The reason he's laughing is that Sis and I made soooooo much fun of how terribly unorganized his office was all the time. I wish I had a picture. He inherited his office from his father who opened F.O. Givens Public Accounting in 1941. My dad now has the same office and there are still things from my great-grandfather in there. It's a family condition--we just can't throw it away.

As children, we spent every Saturday morning what I guess all kids do who grow up in a small town. We walked around downtown. The first stop was always the office (the library didn't open up until 9 a.m.) and Granddaddy was always at the office. It would usually be just him unless it was tax season. We would take his candy order for E.E. Moore and then proceed to the old-timey general store and get candy, look at the horse supplies, admire the huge round of cheese, and then make our way back to the office before hitting the library, post office, Home Sweet Home, and Perkins Hardware. We had probably eaten most of his candy by the time we got back--it was after all a full .05 miles away.

Then we'd proceed to "visit" (i.e. keep hime from getting anything done) that would also include us opening up all the empty file cabinets and jumping over the stacks of manilla folders. (Yes, Sandra, it was worse than mine!) He had an inabliity to throw away anything. He drove the bank tellers crazy because he wanted his paper clips back and he would go through the trash cans after everyone left and pick out the pencils that were thrown away--I only remember him using the most stubby little yellow pencils.

I've fished out paper clips out of the trash can at work. Yes, I know I don't pay for them and I'm sure Millsaps can afford to toss a few paper clips but (as Dad dy would say) "it's the principle of the matter." I save the rubber bands that the paper comes in. I've negoitated down every single contract that has come my way and am recently heard a co-worker call me "the closer." All salesman are immediately forwarded to my line.

Is this a bad thing? Is it being cheap or just using resources widely? It seems today that it has become "cool" to cut out coupons and businesses are trying to prove how "green" and conscious they are of the economy by not seeming as extravagent. Case in point, look at the invitations Ole Miss did for Dan Jones inarguation, very plain and simple because no one wants to seem as if they are wasting money right now. Any magazine right now has "how-tos" on living simplier and saving more...think about The Home Depot commercial about working in your yard.

Granddaddy spent Christmas morning, painstaking folding the wrapping paper that we had shredded in a number of minutes. His two daughters-in-laws collected his neat stacks and tossed it. He was born in 1928 and his early years were marked by the Great Depression. He was not cheap and at any moment would have given everything he had to anyone of us for any reason. Every birthday and holiday was marked by a envelope with a bank bond in it. For college or a trip to Europe after college.

The night Ryan and I got engaged we went over to tell Net and Granddaddy. He was already in bed by the time we got to Senatobia from Memphis and I'm pretty sure was knocked out from his medicine. He grunted a few words that were not "best wishes." A few days later I was sitting in their den, admiring my diamond ring, asking him if he was going to get a tux for my wedding. His reply: "Now Kara Janette, you aren't really going to marry that boy are you? You know you can keep the ring."

2 comments:

Ashley said...

Cute stories!

Becca said...

Such a great post. I love small peeks into your childhood--you are such a good storyteller!