stickers, washi tapes, and more i - ink between the teeth

Jan 10, 2022

stickers, washi tapes, and more i

If you don’t already know, I have a hoarding mentality. It no doubt comes from generations of saving perfectly sized boxes and jars for organizing household goods1. It’s why I have so many fountain pens, stickers, washi tapes, inks, stamps, extra correction tapes, skeins of yarn, dice… I have the brain of a magpie, and I do appreciate my need for curling my claws around sparkly and cute things, but sometimes it’s a little out of control.

The thing is that living through a pandemic has given me some, uh, perspective. Life—and the many things you buy as you navigate it—are meant to be enjoyed. Don’t be like me, a person who saved instant ramen packets in the cupboard until they expired, prompting me to say, “Instant ramen expires?!” Yes. It does. And then you’ll be sad, because for some reason you decided to save instant ramen—something you can buy inexpensively at the grocery store—for that special moment where, I don’t know, you really deserved to have instant ramen.

I’m kind of annoyed about the instant ramen, if you can’t tell.

But this doesn’t just apply to instant ramen, you know? It could be about anything, really. That bottle of wine you got as a gift six years ago. The expensive chocolates. And, yes, the rolls (plural!) of washi tapes in the drawer.

A scanned image that shows a variety of washi tapes.
All of these rolls are what I would qualify as being "lightly used."

I spent some time cataloging my patterned washi tapes the other night, just to admire them and also to get the engine running on using them up. Every time I buy a tape, I realize I don’t know how long a meter is, let alone ten. I mean, I couldn't guess any length at all, but did you know that most washi tapes come with ten—yes, ten—meters of fun? Thirty-two feet, if you’ve been steeped in U.S. ways. And when you think about it like that... boy, does washi tape last even longer when you spend years hoarding it, huh? And it really is incredible what you can forget in a year or two. In the photo above, cower beneath the degradation of my memory almost in real time.

But here I am, you see. I’m not usually one for resolutions, but if I was going to have a handful this year, one of them might be something like, “Be less precious about consumable things.” I mean, I bought 'em to use 'em. So let’s make sure they get used.

The three tapes I could still find online are:

  1. My brother and I cleaned out the seasonings cupboard in our family home last year. We found an unopened container of seasoning with an expiration date of… 1999. ↩︎

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