Saturday, August 13, 2011

Expanded horizons

Life Beyond Fountain Pens

Joe is a true fountain pen fanatic. In fact, when we recently were signing some legal documents, I was very proud of the fact that he actually didn't make a fuss when he was asked to sign with something other than a fountain pen. Usually such occasions elicit protest from him. (Of course, he was somewhat pacified when I loaned him my Retro 51 Cioppino rollerball.)

Yes, I know there are bulletproof inks. The truth is, sometimes it's just simpler to go along with the attorney/escrow closer/whomever than to fight that battle.

I also work in a busy office with a lot of different people, most of whom don't know what do to with a fountain pen when presented with one. The reactions generally fall into two different camps: either they're afraid of it, almost to the point of not wishing to touch it, or they get aggressive about it: yank on the cap, press hard while writing.

In either case, offering a fountain pen to a coworker doesn't end well.

A few of my Retros,  from L - R: Copper, Dreamcatcher, Cioppino, Bamboo
 For these reasons, I've got a few non-fountain pens in the collection. As you might tell from the mention above, most of them tend to be Retro 51s. I find them to be of durable construction, well-balanced, comfortable to write with, and much less intimidating to the general public. People still tend to be careful with them because they're "nice pens;" I haven't had to go chasing after anyone trying to walk off with one, and yet they know how to use them.

For work, my strategy is to keep the fountain pens near me, and out of easy reach of visitors to my office. I keep a Retro or two front and center for others to use - as well as for me in those situations where a fountain pen wouldn't really work well.

I am of course always happy to delve into the joys and mysteries of fountain pens, should anyone ask; those inquiries seem to be few and far between within the general populace, however.

I'd love to hear in what ways others have expanded beyond fountain pens in their daily lives too!

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