Anyong, Lindsay here.
I was a good kid in elementary school. The kind of sweet little girl with barrettes and bobby pins in permed hair who brought fresh picked purple irises from the front yard to the teacher once a week.
I was the kind of student who made straight As and cried (seriously) if I got anything else. I was the kid who sat in the front row and raised her hand at every question, laughed at every joke, and spent her free time writing my own stories (in cute little construction-paper covered book jackets) and turned them into the teacher with a shy smile.
But I also had a small obsession in elementary school. One that almost turned into a fist fight when Becky Williford and I got into it over our beloved hot pink Hello Kitty pencil boxes.
Now if you don’t remember these high-tech pencil holders, I will bring you up-to-date. They were the end-all-be-all in my first-grade world. I remember coveting Becky’s hot pink Hello Kitty pencil box for months before I finally got my own at the only store in town that offered them–a weird, old-lady store with lamps and strange dolls that had a Hello Kitty corner–no sanctuary–in the back. I would beg Mom to take me there.
And when I finally had my hot pink Hello Kitty pencil box, I was in heaven. With a push of a neon green button, a drawer would fling out, offering the best of my stationary wares.
Honestly, I don’t remember what the hot pink Hello Kitty pencil box fight with Becky Williford was about. I just remember it was the one and only time I got in trouble in elementary school. We both had to stay after class. Just goes to show that I obviously didn’t learn a lesson if all I can remember is the tears that flew down my face.
Lately, I’ve been reminded of my early love for all things Hello Kitty. Because every girl has the same love here. I’m in a Hello Kitty Mecca. A country that offers everything Hello Kitty in every stationary store located on every street corner in Korea. I’m talking Hello Kitty shoes. Hello Kitty stickers. Hello Kitty pencil boxes (though I’ve yet to see my 1980s hot pink Hello Kitty pencil box with Go-Go-Gadget drawers.) Hello Kitty suckers. Hello Kitty shirts. Hello Kitty. Every. Thing.
I’m so glad I’m just now finding this Hello Kitty Heaven. Because if I had known such a place existed back in first grade, I’d have been on the first flight out, with my hot pink Hello Kitty pencil box in my carry-on.