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  • I needed to save the sticker. This particular sticker packed a double punch: it was sparkly and it had a unicorn. Whoever designed this piece of adhesive paper truly understood the intricacies of my childhood mind.

    At first I stuck it on my dresser. It stayed their for a day perhaps, before my mother came in and chided me for putting a sticker on an antique. She hoped the lacquer wouldn't flake off with the sticker; I hoped the sticker wouldn't rip as I carefully peeled the delicate image off the crummy piece of furniture. But I shouldn't have been worried – sparkly stickers are as tough as diamonds, you know.

    My search to save this piece of awe and wonder continued. I received this sticker at the pediatrician's office, choosing it out of the woven wooden basket on top of the counter as my mother scheduled my next appointment. It felt like a treasure to find this sticker there.

    My quest to find sanctuary for my sticker led me to my closet. There were clothes in my closet – clothes that could cover the wall. Strategically placing the sticker on the white painted panel, I knew I had found its new home.

    Years went by and the closet accumulated more stickers. Every doctor’s visit led to a tradition where I searched for the best sticker to add to my collection. Sticker valentines cards from fellow students in my elementary school class went up on the wall, as did Postal Service logos and those round little stick-on earrings that you can find in packs in the dollar store toy section. My collection flourished. And, oddly, my parents never complained.

    And yet none of these stickers ever shone as brightly as my sparkly unicorn sticker. It was grand and imposing in contrast to the cartoons and primary colors. To this day it remains the most wonderful sticker my eyes have ever beheld.

    But a new fear has cropped up in my mind – I fear that I may lose this sticker wall beneath a layer of crisp white paint. For the past few years my parents have discussed moving to a smaller home. Nothing serious has happened yet, but the back of my mind still wonders at the fate of my sticker wall in the hands of new owners. I feel as if I should write a note and tape it to the wall:

    “Dear Wonderful New Owners of my Childhood Home: Please keep this sticker wall. Please do not paint over it. I started my collection as a child and every once and a while I like to add another one to the mix. In fact, I urge you to do the same. Give control of this wall to a child, if you so happen to have a child in your possession, and let them add to my collection. Just please do not paint over it.

    Sincerely,
    Annie

    P.S. The unicorn is my favorite.”
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