Paperclips and staples and big cardboard boxes…..


…. these are a few of my favorite things.

Well, with the holidays coming up, I could not resist that opening.  One of the kids at my old school used to sing that song all the time with the correct lyrics.  I, personally, am not a big Sound of Music fan, but one of my therapists suggested the title and I liked it ….. whatever….

Actually, I really do like paperclips and staples quite a bit.  I have a hard time passing them by.  If I see them, I want to go over and bend them or remove them from paper, but have been trying to resist those impulses.   However, it isn’t all that bad.  I figure I could be obsessed by much worse things.

Seriously though, I am fascinated by things like staples and paperclips.  I’m sure a lot of neurotypical people think such a thing sounds really weird (then again, I think some of the things that neurotypical people are obsessed with are odd, but I won’t go into that here).

So why the fascination with paperclips and staples?    Well, they are really kind of fascinating – metal that is changeable, bendable, but in many ways immutable.  Somewhat of a paradox I would suppose.  I can bend a paper clip out of shape but it really does not change its form.  I can do with the same with a staple.  In form they are simply a long line of silver medal, but when changed, they can become very useful objects.  I can bend them out of shape and then very carefully bend them back into shape.  I can remove a staple from a piece of paper, bend it, but then bend it back to fit through the same holes it came from so it can assume its original function with only minor imperfections.

Staples and paperclips, made from metal, also reflect light in a way which is so interesting.  I walk by a paperclip or a staple and sometimes, if the light bounces off of it a certain way, I don’t see the paperclip or a staple but a dazzling light – much like the little lights of fireflies or the lights of a Christmas tree.  It is so hard to sometimes pass these by without stopping, looking and touching.  Imagine all of the light reflecting off of these tiny pieces of metal in a large stack of paper on a desk or a bulletin board with stapled notices all over it.  Sometimes, I just can’t help but stop, look and reach out to those little lights.  I want to bend them and change the way the light reflects off of them.  Sometimes I resist that urge, but sometimes the calling is too much and I just have to try to change the way that the light reflects from those tiny bits of metal.

Before you think I am odd for liking the beauty of light reflecting off of things in my environment, think about the things with which some neuro-typical people are obsessed.  Some are obsessed with money, some with clothes, some with drugs and others with accumulating as many toys as they can before they die.  Overall, I am much happier enjoying something simple like reflections of light than any of those other things.

In closing, whatever, holidays you celebrate (or celebrated), I hope that they are happy.