I am proud of how friendly and welcoming the fountain pen and stationery community is. And in my own stationery usage, I pride myself on having a (fairly) open mind.
I can see the beauty in a plain black pen or one in bright swirly resin. I see the practical value of a simple converter, and the fun of a fancy filling mechanism.
But there are some things in this hobby that I will never understand. When I see people doing these things, deep in the back of my mind a little voice is whispering “that guy’s crazy”. And I back away slowly.
People who post are compensating for something
I have never posted a pen except to try it out for a review. Why would you take a perfectly good pen and whack two extra inches of metal and plastic on the end of it, swinging around above your hand? How big are your hands to need a pen that’s eight inches long?! Are you compensating for something?
No way: I hate the idea of scratching up my pens, I hate the way posting makes pens feel in my hand, and chances are, if a pen is small enough to need posting, it’s probably too narrow to be comfortable anyway. Anyone who does this is a lunatic.
Say it with me: If you post your pens, we can never be friends.
People who PRINT have TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS
I have no idea how folks like Brad Dowdy get any work done. Writing in ALL CAPS PRINTED is not only weird and shouty, like an 80 year old on the INTERNET, it’s slow as hell. Sure, my cursive script looks like it’s been written by a five year old shivering with frostbite, but at least I can vaguely keep up with my thoughts.
Pencil users are masochists
Imagine a writing instrument that has become the most common metaphor for being super skinny. One that starts out too long, then gets too short, until you have to throw it away. One that starts out scratchy and too fine, and ends up blobby and too broad. One that you have to sharpen multiple times per day, leaving shavings everywhere. One that doesn’t even have a cap, so the point is exposed to snap or jab you. One that breaks inside if you drop it even a few inches. One that writes a line that you can smudge with your hand and erase any time. Yep, it’s the good old fashioned pencil.
I will never understand why people use wood pencils for writing in their everyday lives. The only explanation that I can think of is that they’re masochists who crave an inconvenient writing experience and are afraid of permanence.
People who write in black have no joy in their hearts
The average ballpoint or rollerball refill comes in black or royal blue. They’re boring, utilitarian tools and when we chose to use fountain pens we have broken free of their tyranny, entering into a new land of possibilities where all the colours of the rainbow are there to experiment with. Hot pink! Bright orange! Rich, velvety red! Sumptuous purple! The world is your oyster! You can express your personality, fit your ink to your mood, or just enjoy the variety.
But some people write most of their words in black ink. Perhaps a single brand of black. Maybe even cartridges. Some suspicious characters even only use black, or maybe don’t even own any other colours!
It’s undeniable: these poor souls have no imagination and no joy in their hearts. Avoid them and do not trust their reviews.
People who have a cheap ‘work pen’ cry themselves to sleep every night
You have a Ferrari in the garage, but take the bus to work every day. You have a Rolex in your watch box, but wear a Swatch to the office. You have fine china but eat off a paper plate. What a sad life, waiting for tomorrow.
So why do so many people leave their good pens in a tray saved for ‘Sunday best’, and do the vast majority of their writing with a cheap, beater pen that doesn’t ‘spark joy’?
I mean, I get that some people work in places that kill pens, like construction. Others work in places where they’re afraid of people stealing their prized pens. But for the rest of you saving your pens for special occasions: live a little. You won’t wear your good pens out just by writing with them.
(Please note: this is a light-hearted post! Don’t send me hate mail!)