Wyndspirit Dreams
Prairie rose



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Prairie rose

April 16, 2003

Seeing as how I just got back from a great extended weekend celebrating my aunt's birthday, rather than try to be creative, I'm going to already give you the second of my ThemeStream essays.. As you might imagine, this one got me some comments from my fellow "pen-aholics." And, by the way, I am still using that old journal pen!

In Search of the Perfect Pen

Today I went on a search for the perfect pen. It all started January first, when I decided that for the true new millennium I would finally break down and start writing my journal in some of the umpteen blank books I’ve been acquiring ever since I got four of them for my high school graduation (more years ago than I care to admit). I thought they were kind of neat, but totally useless to me. I was too fussy to contaminate a beautiful book with my scribbling. Over the years I received more of them as gifts, and even bought a couple that were too cute or pretty for me to resist. Then last fall I decided I had to use up some of the unused stuff I have lying around and have been moving from place to place with me. That hasn’t worked out very well, because no matter how much I use up, I always find myself unable to resist buying more of whatever it is—yarn, craft kits, candles, pens, blank books… But, in any case, for the first time since I started keeping a journal at the age of twelve, I exchanged my beloved notebooks for a blank book.

So now I had to come up with the perfect pen. I started the year with my favorite Paper Mate, actually a pen somebody forgot at my desk at work, but it began skipping. So I tried another pen that I had gotten with my journal in mind. It wrote draggy and faint from the start. Now, you have to understand that I am extremely fussy about my journal pens. The ink has to flow quickly because I write fast to keep up with my thoughts, but not so fast that it leaks, and it can’t skitter around on the page and make my handwriting look shaky. And it has to be dark blue ink with a medium point. No exceptions. And since I am trying to pick up with my pen pals again, I had an excuse to add some cool colored pens to go with all my stationery. So… After work today I went pen shopping.

First stop was, of course, Wal-Mart. The roller balls and gel pens always catch my eye. I can’t use a roller ball pen—never could. I heard once that they don’t work well for lefties. Something about the slant at which we hold them, I think. I can use a Flair pen, but I can’t use an Expresso. It simply will not write for me. I can use a Vision pen, but they are almost all either fine or ultra-fine point, which I don’t like. I love gel pens, but they are also usually fine point. However, today I found some pretty medium point colored ones that I couldn’t resist. (Picture me standing there contemplating what stationery I have and what color pens I need to "accessorize" properly…) 

The problem is, the paper on the blank book I am using is kind of rough and absorbent. I am not sure what kind of pen will work good on it. Searched the pen wall some more, and found some blue medium point gel pens. I had no idea if they would work or not, but I tossed them in the cart anyway. (At that point I started contemplating all the writing I will have to do to use up all these pens…!) Then I remembered a ballpoint pen with a beautiful pale blue metallic barrel that had been my journal pen for a couple years, and I wondered if I knew where it was anymore. I couldn’t think where, so I decided I wanted to get a new fancy ballpoint pen. I had not bought a nice ballpoint pen in years, and I immediately discovered a couple of hard truths. First, most ballpoint pens these days are so ergonomically "fat" that I can barely fit my small fingers around them. Second, they only have black ink!!! I finally found a rather neat gold pen with a black accordion "clicker," but since it had black ink, I had to get a blue refill pack. Seven pens and two refills later, on to the next store!
The next stop was Staples. An office supply store should be pen heaven, right? They had tons of pens, almost none suited to my purposes. While I was looking over the pens and wishing they had some medium points, the lady beside me complained that she could never find fine points anymore! However, I did come away with eight more colored gel pens and a gel refill.

My final stop was Target. Before Christmas they had had some fantastic sales on gel pens, and I think I bought one of each for both myself and my pen-loving nephew. Today I found a ballpoint pen with a green barrel and a cool squiggly clip. Black ink, of course, but I had two refills… 

So… I came home with sixteen pens and three refills. Oh, by the way, I just glanced over at my writing desk and the first thing I saw was my beautiful old journal pen. Guess which pen gets the first refill? Oh, well, what’s a pen-aholic to do???

B.J. 1/21/01