Here’s a notebook which evokes bittersweet memories for me…
When I was a kid, it seemed like this sort of diary was a common promotional giveaway. Is it just me, or do companies never do this any more? Now it’s all logo pens and flashlights and foam squeeze balls, although logo-embossed notebooks are making a comeback with Moleskine’s custom projects for Apple, Google and various other companies.
This 1977-78 diary was given out by the Sandoz Pharmaceutical company, which still exists today. My childhood best friend’s father, a doctor, had no use for it and gave it to her.
As with many other notebooks of that period, it became a repository of awesome stickers. I loved Charlie’s Angels even though my mother never actually allowed me to watch the TV show. The “X marks the spot” peeking through from the next page refers to a window marked on a photograph of the Sandoz headquarters. (We were probably cooking up some plan to spy on them.)
Most diaries of this sort have pages at the beginning with measurement conversions, time zones, holidays, etc., but the cool thing about this one was that it also had all these weird bits of medical information, like having your own mini Physician’s Desk Reference!
Not that they were so interesting that a 10-year old kid wouldn’t scribble on them…
And stick more awesome Charlie’s Angels stickers on them!
The writing and drawing in this notebook is not my own– at first I thought some of it was, but I realized none of it was my handwriting. I don’t think I ever made a single mark in this notebook myself.
And this is where we get to the bittersweet part. When I first found this in my collection, I thought, wow, my childhood best friend Sally must have given this to me. But then it came back to me– Sally didn’t give it to me. I coveted this notebook terribly and wanted one like it, but my father, alas, wasn’t a doctor. I don’t remember how exactly it happened, but I think I stole the notebook from her and never gave it back. She knew it was missing and I think she suspected the truth, but though I felt terribly guilty about it, I never confessed. And I probably hid the notebook away and never touched it for fear that she’d find out.
Sally and I were inseparable best friends from kindergarten until a year or two after this must have happened, when she dropped me in favor of a new best friend and we grew apart. Given the timing, I don’t think the notebook itself was the cause of the rift, but I guess it served me right to be dumped like that– I was sad about it for years afterwards.
I never again let my notebook obsession turn me into a thief. You have to draw the line somewhere.