Back-to-school time reminds me of shopping for school supplies. It was great to get new stuff, but the most important decision came down to one thing: the crayons.
This choice moves far beyond the simple joy that comes from a new purchase. It travels deep into the psyche of a young person as it will inevitably define who you are the moment your 4th grade teachers asks you to “please get out your crayons!”
But let me warn you; the choices are vast.
First, steer clear of your off-brand types. Prang’s ‘Flesh-Tones of the World’ would be a devastating mistake. Rose Art’s ‘matte pastels’ or Dixon’s ‘x-tra large fluorescents’ fall within the same. Kids ultimately know one thing, and that’s the Crayola Brand. It’s like comparing a Ford Tempo to a Mercedes-Benz. I wanted my Mercedes, and I wanted it beefed-up fully loaded. Next comes your size.
I can remember scanning the shelves salivating at my options. There were the dinky 8-pack boxes. “Pshh… amateur.” Next there was the 16 or 24 packs. “Lame.” It was getting better but still severely limiting to my creative ability. I was in pursuit for better. I considered myself a professional.
Finally, I would lay my eyes on the most miraculous box of crayons known to man; the Crayola Crayon 64-piece Deluxe Set with build-in sharpener. The holy grail. They were smudge-proof, waterproof, ideal for paper, water, cardboard, or fabric, and certified AP nontoxic.
Once in class I would unwrap the box and place it on my desk. I carefully opened the top to reveal 4 rows of stadium-style seating so you could see every possible color, each crayon perched neatly in line. ‘Look at this, in all her glory’ I thought to myself. ‘Miraculous’.
A devious smirk would creep across my face as I stared at the other kids’ unwrapping their crayons. Little Richard with his 24-count box, Natalie with her off-brands! HA! What fools.
Only I had sea-foam greens and fuchsias. The ‘Antique Brass’ and ‘Banana Mania’ crayons. I was on top of the world, the coolest kid in class.
Now that Iv’e grown up I look back and realize there is an important piece missing to what made me so cool… Unfortunately I was the only kid that actually cared.