Crayons . . .

Another great reader-suggested post for today's blatherings. The question: Why do you like crayons so much, anyway? Well - sit back and relax. I'll tell you.

When I was a wee child (let's presume I was at least four since those are my earliest true and real memories) my favorite thing in the WORLD was to sit at a table with a piece of clean/blank construction paper (as we called it in my homeland) and a pile of crayons.

They could be a new, fresh box (the SMELL of that first open - so nice, so, so nice (also available as cologne here (No, I'm not kidding, click on the link) or it could be a coffee can full of broken, battered, labelless remnants or it could be the one or two less-desirable colors the kid across the table would kick to me but, no matter, I was happy.

Crayons were freedom. You could draw, write, shade, color, blend, invent, create and not even worry about going off the edges of the paper. You could put a yellow crayon across orange paper to get a weird shade of toxin or you could put black across white paper for lines so deep and clean you'd have thought they came pre-printed. I used to color, and color, and color as a kid. I remember giving and receiving them as gifts (the first time I got a box of 96, I wanted to actually MARRY the girl that gave them to me) and, speaking of romance, I can remember making Valentines with crayons. My friend Tristan's mother used to help us make candles out of old crayons.

I can not remember a time I did not OWN crayons. I kept them in my locker throughout junior high and high school. My drawers in college had boxes upon boxes. I wrote a paper in graduate school about how Crayola navigated the "corporate crisis" that was their Indian Red wax stick. I had them on hand the whole time I lived and worked in DC (in my desk at the office and in my apartment). I gave Joy's niece Lexy a 150 crayon, telescoping carousel as a way to hopefully make a great first impression (she was as unimpressed nine years ago as she is today, sadly). You can imagine how hard it was for me to not give an infant Ava crayons to just gnaw and otherwise expire upon. Today there are probably 300 crayons in my desk at work, 500 or so in my apartment, 100 or so in my car, and another "emergency" box of 8 in my nightstand.

I still have not answered the question of WHY I like them so much. Answer - simple - they are the easiest, cheapest, most readily available form of "color" on the market today and there is no one that doesn't just automatically know what to do the minute you put one in their hand. I've spent thousands of hours (I think that number may be fairly accurate) coloring, drawing, writing, and creating with crayons and I hope to never see the day that I don't immediately in good times and bad, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, etc. NOT grab for a box of crayons the minute I have a free minute.

What's NOT to love about that?