Friday, July 11, 2014

Fridames* - Week 6

*This rejected contest name was brought to us by my husband. Just wanted to give him credit...for this name we didn't use. I am thoughtful like that. Although I think last week's was his as well.

When we started writing these letters, (not sure what I am talking about? click here) the first ten or so to hit the list were companies I was clearly very passionate about. As a result, these were sort of the love letters of the group. I haven't wrestled with my feelings on paper like this since the late eighties. Here is one from that collection...

Dear Crayola,

I considered writing to you today in Burnt Siena, but then wondered if I wasn’t really in more of a Cerulean mood. As I paused to consider this, I realized  the red-orange and orange-red flood gates that I was about to open. Just flipping the lid on that box of 64 crayons runs the risk of me getting caught up in some violet daydream that might take me a solid hour to ROYGBIV myself out of. I am not exactly sure what that means, but that box certainly does open a rainbow of possibilities for me to get distracted.

Brand new boxes of Crayolas were such a treat when I was a kid, like last week. The box of 48 was actually my favorite. I liked the compact shape of the box, and while 64 certainly held more colors, it also had that crayon sharpener (shudder). In order to use that sharpener, a crayon had to be...well it had to be peeled (shudder). It was best for my sanity to not even be taunted by that destructive device. Instead, I tried to stay away from blue skied landscapes, oceans or night time scenes. Yes, it was the brand new box of crayons that made me smile, or at least the illusion of one; something hard to achieve if tree trunk worn browns and grass remnant greens had slumped below the cardboard line of view. I am sure it comes as no surprise that I am barely able to discuss broken crayons, and can still hear the "snap" that such misfortune makes. Since we are slipping into a Midnight Blue territory, I will admit to leaving a box of crayons on the back window ledge in my mother's car when I was around six years old. I never made that mistake melty and sad. One of my favorite grade school art projects involved ironing two pieces of wax paper with fall leaves and crayon shavings between them. So fancy. If my six year old hands had anything to do with grating those brilliant colored shavings, I have blocked that memory out completely.

When I became a mother of two small children, I knew I was going to have to let some of my non-toxic, waxy expectations slide a bit. I celebrated the artwork and respected the crayons that so willingly gave their lives. Maybe I kept a fresh box of 24 in my own desk drawer, just in case I needed to feel like there was still some order in my universe. One year we did make use of our scrap box of crayons to make the broken up melty crayon chunk hearts for Valentine's Day.

I found myself on the verge of insulted when restaurants used to hand us that little cup of substandard color sticks and a coloring sheet. How on earth were we supposed to entertain ourselves with such a shoddy selection of supplies? A frog picture and a blue, red or yellow crayon, or even worse, the crayons that left no trace of color in their trail. I tried to remember to pack our own bag.

My daughter and I happened upon a Crayola craft demonstration a couple of years ago. They hot glued Crayola crayons (has to be Crayola, as the waxier less pigment containing brands will not do) to canvas and melted them with a craft dryer. So. Awesome. We started out small, trying to use up crayons that had seen better days. As bigger and better designs have been imagined, we now start with brand new boxes of crayons.  Who am I to stand in the way of creativity?

I have come a long way from being mesmerized by the mere sight of a brand new gold and green box being opened, and it has been awhile since I lost myself in trying to rearrange the crayons by shade by color. It has been a thrill to watch my children's fascination with your crayons. I am never disappointed when any of the small people in our lives wander over to the table with paper and Crayolas.

Vibrantly yours,
Andrea Casarsa

The response? Did I frighten them with my love? Was it unrequited? This was one of the first responses I received, and I nearly knocked my daughter over, grabbing the large padded envelope from her mail delivering hands. I had already seen Marianne's bubble gift package at that point and could not contain my excitement over what I was about to find. IT WAS A BIG PADDED ENVELOPE! 
Stop looking for the crayons, they aren't there. One of those fun themed 8-packs? Nope, but there are coloring sheets...just nothing to color them with. However, I did get a $2.00 coupon! I was also pleased that my letter was actually read...
TICKLED PINK! This was my kind of person. She also gave me "Best wishes for a colorful future. I may have overestimated our budding relationship though when I sent a return letter. (This is also reminiscent of my late eighties self.)

Dear Susan,

Thank you for responding to my letter. We were so excited to see the large padded envelope in our mailbox from Crayola. We ripped it open and found the coloring pages. Now if we’d only had something to color them with…

Midnight blue,
Andrea Casarsa
Reference Number: 001411755A
Mother and Blogger

I heard nothing back. I danced too close to the flame and melted our waxy budding friendship. I still blame that large padded envelope, as the excitement made me delirious! I was thankful for the correspondence we had though, and for the coupon we put towards a brand new box of crayons. 

I think this one was worth 2 points, unless Marianne counts my coloring pages, fun facts, and info sheets as products (which she totally won't). Add that to my previous 16 points and I am at 18**.

Let's see who Marianne is sharing the love with this week. 

**Update: After consulting with the competition, it was left up to me to decide on the points, so after several split seconds of thought, paper is product, so 5 points for me!!! I am at 21!**


  1. That Marianne. She sounds like a bit of buzz-kill, no?

  2. Well, you won't need to worry about it much longer, because Marianne's mom is going to kill her.

  3. I say it totally counts as products. It's not just a letter or coupons. There are THINGS in there. Even if it isn't crayons specifically. Anything that needs a padded envelope is considered products. COUNTS!

  4. Nice!!!! I love crayolas too but I'm one of those people who never used the sharpener b/c they never worked really well. I'd just buy a new box of crayons when the first box got too dull.

  5. Great letter! I used to color with my kids. When my daughter was a teen, we often went to lunch at a restaurant where they put big sheets of paper over the table and gave us crayons. What a landscape on which to color! My daughter drew dogs and cats, and I made triangles and squares and circles because I couldn't actually draw anything. Congratulations on your score.


  6. Wow! Crayola has real people reading their letters? That is so cool! Zane is now veering away from abstract art toward actually trying to draw people, and crayons are his friend.

  7. No more buying the cheap crayons at Wal Mart.
    Crayola it is from now on.

  8. You are a freaking genius and writer extraordinaire. I'm glad you got some padding, but no dang crayons??? WTH?????