I’ve been thinking a lot lately about glue. The only reason is because I’m organizing my craft room/office and ridding myself of duplicates and no-longer-needed items. I’ve actually carved out a nice niche for myself complete with music – I even learned to use Spotify and am deeply enjoying my free monthlong trial. While I’m serenaded, I’m sorting through scrapbooking and crafting to supplies to determine what I really need.
Back in the “good ole’ days” – and I’m equating that to about 196– – well, we’ll just say the late 1960s – I only knew of one glue in life. Actually, we called it paste and it came in an upright cylindrical package. The lid contained a built-in plastic spatula enabling you to happily smear it upon craft projects in school. Yes, that was when the school day schedule allowed for such. Oh, a tangent…back to the sticky subject at hand.
And just for the record, I did NOT nor have I ever eaten paste – either at school or home. I’m pretty sure my mother will verify this because when it comes to the oft told, repeated embarrassing stories of my younger days, one about eating paste is not in the repertoire. No, those stories are for another time but suffice it to say I saw The James Bond movie Moonraker six times with six different dates in high school – but back to glue and all things related.
The next marvel I remember was Elmer’s glue in the small bottle sized for children’s hands. I loved the feeling of control! Rough day in the classroom? Watch out! I was gonna need a refill for the next project. A regular day – especially if I were happy – might mean that instead of a straight line, which is always the closest point between two objects – I’d doodle a squiggly line with artistic flair. After all, who cared? I knew the teacher had what seemed to be gallons of the stuff ready for replenishing empties at any given moment.
In high school, my new glue was rubber cement. My glue of choice, I used it frequently since I was on my high school’s newspaper staff. I especially liked the monthly stay-after-school-as-long-as-it-took-to-get-the-entire-issue-pasted-up times where the rubber cement was free flowing and its ability to reposition columns of typeset on the page layouts made it an indispensable tool.
I admit that years passed and I grew up without giving much more thought to glue. I was tackling college life and although I ended up again on the newspaper at Tallahassee Community College, I remember nothing about glue or pasting up pages. I’m wondering now if impaired memory is a side effect of extended rubber cement usage. Hey, there must be a 1-800-let-me-sue-someone lawyer I can call for that…
Next, I became acquainted with hot glue and its infamous hot glue gun. I was told to never play with guns and wish I had paid attention because it would have been a big help. Always one to be what I call an “experiential learner,” my fingertips danced dangerously too close too many times and did not avoid the glue fun’s uber hot metal tip. Come to think of it, I really don’t miss dipping my hands in ice water or needing first aid after I began using the new and improved, cooler hot glue guns arrived on the scene. They were new and they certainly were improved!
When glue sticks arrived, I thought I’d gone to heaven. I mean, no memory-impairing fumes, no stuck orange twist lids on glue bottles, and if I really paid attention and bought the sticks with colored glue inside I could more readily see WHERE I was gluing; if I weren’t in a hurry, I could watch the purple glue fade and disappear as well!
Soon I discovered spray adhesive, acid free adhesive for scrapbooking and all manner of tacky glue, wood glue, super glue [and no I didn’t glue my fingers together] Gorilla glue, and clear liquid glue in pens. I’m sure I didn’t even mention all the options, but what I am sure of is that as I’m organizing my craft/office space, I have way more glue than should be humanly allowed. I’d hate to think that my home is flammable or that my ownership of such a plethora of products might adversely affect my homeowners insurance rate. So, as I ruthlessly plunder through my collection and pare down to the bare essentials, I reflect and recount those days of elementary school simplicity when all it took was white paste to do the job.
What do YOU think?
What do YOU remember about gluing throughout your life? Please leave a comment below!