I come home most nights to find little Post-it Notes scattered across the kitchen table. Some are normal sized 3 X 3 inches, others are even smaller. They’re mixed in with bills, fliers, and school newsletters and permission forms that have come home with my son from school.
My anal compulsive nature starts flaring up and I try to organize all the notes and papers. I try to read some of the Post-its, the handwriting on some are very clear and I get the message, others look like something straight out of an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic.
For me, the Post-it Notes sum up the difference between my wife and me. If “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” as John Gray’s popular 1992 book suggests then I’m a Moleskine Notebook kind-of-guy and my wife is a sticky note kind-of-woman.
An idea comes to life
But before I get to my wife, a bit of history on the Post-it Note. Workers for the 3M Company came up with the idea for the sticky note in 1974. A man by the name of Arthur Fry needed a way to bookmark his hymnal while singing in his church choir. He remembered that a fellow 3M employee had stumbled across a low-tack adhesive that could be placed on paper, but couldn’t come up with an application. Hence the sticky note was born. Executives with the 3M company were initially skeptical about the idea for the Post-it notes and its’ prospects of profitability, but the product was soon introduced and they are now sold in more than 100 countries.
So yes, my wife is a Post-it note kind of girl. She likes to write out her to-do items on Post-its as she thinks of things. There’s no rhyme or reason to her approach. She’ll make a mistake and scratch out her handwriting and start all over again and again.
I, on the other hand, regularly sit down each week at my desk and meticulously number and spell out my to-do list, careful not to make a mistake. As things come up, I’ll add to the list, but will work to make sure that everything stays neat and organized.
We’re night and day different in our approaches. She’s a free spirit, I’m a neat freak. She’s outgoing, I’m reserved. She makes friends easily, I have to work at it. I say “tomato,” she say’s “tomahto.”
“Similar than we might think
My wife will keep the notes on the table until she’s accomplished the task and then she’ll throw the note away. She likes to make fun of me, saying that I keep my notes forever. In my defense, I review my week and check off whatever I’ve accomplished. And no, I don’t keep my notes forever, I just take a lot of glee in being able to cross off items from my to-do list.
We’re definitely different and sometimes the foreign language looking stickies can even drive me crazy, but, in the end, our differences make us stronger. Moleskine, Post-it note, it doesn’t matter, we’ve got each other.