ShaneHalbach.com

Pen Snob

My pen ran out of ink on my flight home the other day. I mean *the* pen. The gold Cross pen with my name engraved on it that I’ve used to write the first draft of every story I’ve ever written (yes, I write every first draft long hand).

I quickly moved through the 7 stages of grief while searching through my bag for a new pen. A regular, mundane NON-MAGICAL pen. As I wrote for the rest of the flight, I tried to decide if I really cared. On one hand, I’m not one to put a lot of stock in the power of “things” and the words were flowing just fine with this other pen. On the other hand OMG MY SPECIAL MAGIC PEN.

I had all but decided that I didn’t care and I’d just use regular pens from now on, but when I got home I found some spare ink cartridges in the back of the drawer.

Pen, you’re back! I love you! I never meant those horrible things I said! I’ll never leave you. Never! ::smooch smooch smooch::

ARG THE INK CARTRIDGE DOESN’T WORK!!

There was one more ink cartridge that does, in fact, work, except it’s blue ink. Hideous, ugly, blue ink.

I’m really trying to decide which is worse: writing in the horrible abomination known as blue ink, or just grabbing another pen. I don’t really think my special pen has special powers (and my acceptance list sort of proves THAT little assumption), but the main upsides are 1) it fits perfectly in my notebook and 2) everybody in the house knows better than to touch my sacred pen. Most pens disappear almost as fast as you can find them, but not this one.

Sara can testify to how stingy I am with the use of this pen.
“Hey, give me that pen, I need to write this down really quick.”
“Uh…this pen?”
“Yeah, really quick, I just need to write something down.”
::Me sloooooowly taking the pen out and reluctantly handing it to her while she looks at me funny::
“Okay, are you done? Give it back.”

I actually don’t even remember where this pen came from. I think it was maybe a graduation present or something? I asked on Facebook, but nobody remembered. Dad, maybe? Well, whoever you are out there that gave me this pen, know that I’ve become irrationally attached to it.

So, yeah, I’m writing in blue ink now.

Not more than 3 or 4 days later, I lost my pen at work. It wasn’t a special pen, just one I grabbed from the supply cabinet, but it was fat (despite my skinny little writing pen, I really prefer fat pens) and wrote well and I liked it. I actually searched around for it but, not finding it, grabbed a new one from my desk drawer.

Oh, the horrible abomination of this pen. Ohhh, the torture. I cannot even begin to describe how awful this pen was. I shudder to even recall how uneven the ink was, drawn across the page in letters that faded in and out. AHHHHH!

No big deal, we’ve got a whole supply cabinet full of pens. There weren’t any that matched my previous one, but surely one of the 6 or 7 varieties in there would suffice?

NO.

I ended up test-driving all of them, and only one was tolerable. They were all either super cheap ballpoints that couldn’t draw a smooth line to save their lives, or fancy-schmancy gel pens, which I cannot suffer for even a minute. Yes, this took a significant amount of time and NO I couldn’t work until this was resolved!

Luckily, a co-worker found my pen, so it is once again in my possession (it’s a BiC ReAction 1.0 in case you’re wondering).

So apparently I’ve become a pen snob. Like, the worst-of-the-worst, super duper snobby pen snob. I knew such people existed, but I never thought I would be one. In my defense, I’ve written a lot of words in pen over the past few years, so I do perhaps have a bit more use for a good pen than the average Joe.

Well, I yam what I yam, and what I apparently yam is a pen snob.

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4 responses

  1. crupley

    I identify with your pen obsession. I struggled for a while but I eventually found my pen soulmate: the Pilot G-2 0.38mm. It clicks so I don’t need to mess with caps, it always writes reliably and smoothly and it is the smallest line size you can get. I just order a case at a time from Amazon and use them one at a time until they are gone. I keep the current active pen in the front of my desk drawer and there is hell to pay if I ever go for it and it is not there.

    March 5, 2014 at 3:27 am

  2. If you hand me a ball point pen you’re likely to pull your hand back with the pen stabbed in to it. I fully support a ball point pens to plowshares initiative. Only criminals use ball point pens. (Unless it’s fancy and approved my the minister of writing)

    My weapon of choice is the uni-ball signo gel grip. Or any other gel pen. For some reason I like a cap over click.

    March 6, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    • crupley

      I either lose or eat caps. I’m less of a danger to myself with a click.

      March 11, 2014 at 4:01 am

  3. Who knew (i did) that i could be so very, very snobbish? I cringed when i read that somebody (you) didn’t absolutely love the smooth, reliable flow of my Pilot Precise V5 rt… that you may even (heavens forbid) find it insufferable (arrggh!). However, you did help me to find myself in the lunacy of your own personal drama. May the “magic” live on! Thank you.

    March 25, 2014 at 7:42 am

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