Leaving my mark

"If only we had made our walls out of chalkboard," thought Jill's parents upon seeing their daughter's propensity for signing her name everywhere.

I have a thing for permanent markers. And ink pens. And maybe permanent-writing utensils in general. Markers, Sharpies, ink pens, gel pens, glitter glue pens, you name it; I’ve had it, plus five. Maybe I’ve always loved how something so permanent can come out of something so small. Maybe I’ve always like writing. Or, maybe I simply loved inscribing my name everywhere and anywhere.

Which I did, beginning at a very young age. For all to see. Forever.

Growing up, my parents and siblings used to find my name written all over the place. On my bed’s headboard. On my bedroom walls. On their bedroom walls. On windowsills. On the glider on the front porch. On the bottom of the bathroom drawers. It was never a glaring mark, rather one for which you had to search. Kinda like finding Waldo of Where’s Waldo? Only with fewer red and white stripes. And less surrounding chaos. At least my family always knew where I had been.

I used to love that Where’s Waldo series.

Anyway, why I was fascinated with signing my name everywhere, I’ll never know. It’s not like “Jill” was an awesomely cool name to sign over and over and over. And, I certainly wasn’t the sort of child that went looking for trouble because surely leaving my name everywhere wouldn’t help with any excuses I could create.

“Jill! Did you write on the wall?”
“No, Mom. It wasn’t me.”
“It’s your name.”

See? Not original at all. Why I didn’t stick to sidewalk chalk on concrete and pencil on paper, my parents will never know.

Maybe I just really enjoyed seeing my name in print. And, I wanted everyone else to see it, too. Maybe I just really loved writing utensils. And, my name. Whatever the reason, I’m grateful my parents had a sense of humor about it. And, still have a sense of humor about it, as they ask every once in a while what I’m inscribing my name on these days.

Nothing, Mom and Dad. Nothing at all.

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5 thoughts on “Leaving my mark

  1. Joshua says:

    Your father called this morning to tell me he found your name on the concrete slab, when they removed the old air conditioner. Perhaps you should seek professional help for this condition.

    P.S. There is paint available to turn your normal wall into a chalkboard. I would imagine your husband would not have a single problem with painting your home office “chalkboard black”.

    It would also allow him to tally Toronto Blue Jays wins after every game. On the plus side, I can’t imagine he would need to use too much space for tallying Toronto Blue Jays wins.

  2. Mom says:

    Your siblings once told you ‘if it doesn’t have your name on it, it’s not yours; leave it alone’. From then on I noticed your name on everything. Pens, crayons, markers?? Your once used the sharp end of a hanger and imprinted your name on the glider on front porch. Nothing takes it off, well maybe sanding would but looking at it now, I think it’s cute and it’ll probably stay that way until someone inherits it, hmmmm, your siblings once told you ‘if it doesn’t have your name on it, it’s not yours; leave it alone’, I guess we all know who will get it.

  3. Jason says:

    I remember the window sill the best. It appeared as if the graphic artist that did the logos for AC/DC or KISS had etched the word “Jill” in lightning-like letters. None of us put it together then – sharp object, softwoods..(ie., creative writing, impressionable minds)..had we only read the writing on the wall…and the window sill…and the porch swing…and…

  4. jilladuling says:

    What can I say? I was a creative super-genius in the making! Or, wait. Was that Joshua?

    You will all be happy to know that I switched from signing my name on random items and inanimate objects to simply signing it on every, single, possible form ever required by someone searching for permanent residency.

    All my pens are low on juice now. All my crayons are heaps of peeled-off paper. And, the glue pens are all dried up.

  5. Ann says:

    Your mom’s comment reminds me of something my parents told me a few years back….

    I was in their bedroom as an adult many years removed from living in their house. I noticed they had one of those cheap puffy stickers stuck to their nightstand. I asked why they still had that there and reached out to take it off. I was practically tackled by my mother in the process. She said “don’t you dare remove that sticker.” I was utterly shocked and gave her a strange look. She liked looking at it and remembering the days when I was young and put that sticker there. I guess I can understand that, but I’m sure there are other things they can look at rather than a silly little foam-filled plastic sticker of a yellow tiger-looking thing. It probably would leave a pretty ugly sticky spot that would require some help from goo gone to remove… and probably strip the finish off in the process. You know what? I bet I got in big trouble for putting that sticker there in the first place!

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