Mint paper marked the smell of defeat
With the beginning of school just around the corner, I have noticed many children gathering up the mountain of school supplies needed for each of their new classes.
I was one of those kids who actually enjoyed shopping for school supplies. My summers were spent usually barefoot, stomach full of ice cream with late night television shows. But, believe it or not, I would begin to get excited when I knew that school was about to start.
I was about to start first grade when I realized the importance of picking the right school supplies.
My family bought most of my school clothes at Northpark in Jackson, but when it came to actual school supplies, Monticello’s only option was the local drug store.
The selection at the drug store was pretty simple and basic. Maw Maw and I combed through the stocked shelves to make sure I had everything on my list.
My pencils were those big fat, extra big pencils needed for my tiny fingers to learn how to shape my letters.
My folder had a few cartoon characters on them, but they were rather boring.
I had the normal writing tablets with the lines and the giant horse on the front of it.
I thought I was all ready for first grade when my eyes got a glimpse of a giant package of stickers.
They were the scratch and sniff stickers. With a light touch of your fingernail, a whiff of strawberry, watermelon or blueberries would hit your nose.
There was only one package left, and I knew I had to have it. All the other kids would be so jealous of my stickers that could go on just about everything.
I was assigned to Mrs. Coleman’s class, and I was ready to meet my new classmates when the first day of school rolled around.
I had on a new pair of jeans, an ironed Minnie Mouse shirt and a giant pink bow in my hair. I felt that I looked ridiculous but Momma said I looked like a “little angel.”
I noticed all the other kids had the same kind of pencils, the same writing tablet and even the same ruler.
But none of them had the scratch and sniff stickers. I would be the most popular kid in my class. I could leave a sticker on my friend’s desk, and they would instantly be reminded of me. It was perfect.
And I started handing them out to everybody.
Then Mrs. Coleman asked us to write a short story about how we spent our summer.
I was about to wiggle out of my seat. I would write my story and leave a sticker in the corner of my sheet of paper. After Mrs. Coleman read my story, she could scratch my sticker and instantly give me a star at the top of my page.
I began to think what scent Mrs. Coleman would like. But I soon realized that I was down to one sticker – root beer.
I wasn’t too thrilled about the root beer sticker. Quite frankly, it didn’t smell too good. But I slapped it on my sheet.
As I turned around to collect the sheet from the girl behind me, a rich smell of fresh mint hit my face. It smelled wonderful. Where could that smell be coming from?
“Do you smell that,” I asked Misty, the girl behind me. “It smells like gum. Oh, do you have any?”
With that “teacher’s pet” grin, Misty looked down at her sheet.
“It’s my paper,” she said. “It’s mint scented. Look, it’s even green. My Daddy bought it for me from a new store in Jackson.”
Mint scented paper? The paper was even a pastel green.
Looking down at my sticker, I realized that I had been defeated.
Scratching my sticker, I stuck it over in my friend Fred’s face.
“Does that smell good,” I asked.
His nose scrunched up, and he flung his head back.
“It smells like a wet dog,” he said. “No, it’s worse.”
I was devastated. I couldn’t give my teacher a paper that smelled bad when Misty’s aroma of mint was right behind mine.
I ended up tearing the corner of my sheet off. When I got it back, there was a note written in red telling me to be more careful when I tear my sheets out.
And of course, “love the paper” was scribbled across Misty’s sheet.
I gave up on trying to impress my friends and teacher. I didn’t need stickers to score brownie points.
Brownie...now that would have been a great smelling sticker.
Last Updated (Friday, 30 July 2010 16:03)