A Paper Crown

June 17, 2010

One day, four years ago, a work  friend told me it was her birthday. She was chair of her department and was having a challenging year. Sometimes ideas just take hold of me; and, on that day, the idea that my friend should be acknowledged became my mission. We needed a little joy in Mudville.

I set about constructing a paper birthday crown out of what I could find in my office. I happened to have some shiny stars and some gold badges. I had a used red hanging folder, and silver paint pens for marking equipment. I also had a drawer full of colored copy paper in case any of the profs ever wanted to make things colorful for their students. (Mostly, they don’t).

Out of those scraps and I made a colorful and embellished paper crown—a birthday crown that I presented to my friend. She laughed as I ceremoniously placed it on her head, and she wore that crown for her office hours and during the department meeting.

I’ve kept the crown in my office all these years, and I offer it on birthdays, but few take me up on the invitation. But it’s really lovely when someone decides to play, and walks down the hall and into a classroom full of college students with a royal wave.

A nice thing… when grownups say “yes” to play.

7 Responses to “A Paper Crown”

  1. That is one ass-kicking crown. I would definitely wear that.

  2. Annie said

    That is gorgeous! I love the lines and the fact that it is so original. It says much more than “Happy Birthday”. It just screams “You are so special”. Who wouldn’t want that blessing on their special day.

  3. iamsurly said


  4. Laura said

    That is really beautiful. I’d wear it!

  5. Corey said

    Now,that’s a crown worth wearing!It would fit a pope.Happy Fathersday and party if you haven’t had it yet already,John.

  6. Dale said

    You’re a magnificent jeweler!

  7. OwlSaysWho said

    So . . . turns out you’re an artist as well as a writer! Another nice thing!

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