Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So what is a girl's pen, anyway?

Good friends of ours, Budd and Judy, joined us for dinner last night. We hadn't seen them since well before Christmas (he was in Egypt - a tale for a different time!), so we had a belated Christmas celebration last night as well. Part of our gift to Budd was a bottle of J. Herbin 1670, since he is also a fountain pen user.

I pulled out my pen case to grab a pen that happened to have 1670 in it, so he could see what the ink looked like. He asked to look at the pens, and of course I handed the case over - I have no worries about accidental damage or mishandling by Budd, since he knows his way around a fountain pen.

He looked them over for a few minutes, and then suddenly looked at me and said, "These are awfully big pens for a girl! These look like men's pens!"

This echoes a debate I've seen once or twice before on FPN, and it always puzzles me.

All kidding (and my husband's reassurances) aside, I haven't met anyone's definition of a "girl" since Duran Duran was the hot ticket. This means, among other things, that I have just a bit of arthritis in my hands - though, oddly enough, it's worse in my nondominant right hand. This is partially why I prefer bigger pens; they're easier for me to use.

But I also remember having a Sheaffer NoNonsense-like fountain pen in high school in the '70s and using it frequently. They called it something different then, I believe, but it was essentially the same thing. Those aren't exactly small, delicate, frilly things either.

So here's a shot of my pen case. (As usual, I have eight pens crammed into a six-pen case. Not recommended, of course, but I can't seem to help myself.)

A quick roll call:

Top, from left to right: TWSBI Diamond 530/Caran d'Ache Storm; Danitrio Tosca/Wancher Matcha.

Bottom, left to right: Parker Lapis Ringtop/Waterman Blue; Parker True Blue Ringtop/Waterman Purple; Taccia/J. Herbin 1670; Levenger True Writer Ivory/Diamine Evergreen; Levenger True Writer Seaglass/Caran d'Ache Caribbean Sea; Waterman 0552 1/2V pansy panel/Waterman Blue.

What's your take? Girly? Not?


  1. Those all fit my definition of girly except the TWSBI which is unisex. I'd be happy to take any of those pens off of your hands if they make you feel to "manly".

  2. @Bridgett - LOL! Thanks for the offer, but I kinda like all these "guys!" (Girls?) The funny thing is, Joe bought the Seaglass and the Tosca!

  3. It's an extremely robust action to take that True Blue out in the world, but so was some of the stuff Jeanne d'Arc got up to. I think the only really girly object is that overlaid Waterman, but since I'd certainly put one of them in the pocket of my enormous manly tweed vest, "really girly" isn't so very. Of the rest, there's a sad tendency to oversize in modern pens of all sorts, so bigness doesn't necessarily signify either. I shouldn't worry about it too much.