The Real Value of My Pens

kyles-metroI have a psychological trait that has affected me most of my life. It has some positives but overall I don’t think it’s healthy for my pursuit of hobbies and enjoying things. The examples that come to mind:

  • I own pocket knives that I carry but have never cut anything with because I’m afraid of dulling the blade and I won’t be able to duplicate the edge with a resharpening
  • I have owned cars that I did not drive due to the dread of work detailing them back to show car clean afterwards
  • I own firearms that I do not enjoy because of the dread of cleaning a complicated mechanism
  • I will not pry with a screwdriver or put a pipe on a wrench for that extra help for fear of damaging either tool

I am sure there are other examples but for some reason this trait has never bothered me with pens. I have written with every pen I own and carried them in a rotation from the first day I own them. My every day routine would not be considered hard use but they face the usual risks of dropping, being stolen etc during the course of my office and desk use. I enjoy all of them.

I do struggle with non-pen people casually asking to use one of my more expensive fountain pens and sadly this fear is replicated with my own children. It’s the fear of a desk roll off, a drop, pulling on a threaded cap or other accident that could just as easily happen during my own use. I think it’s related to me placing too high of value on things that can be replaced and subsequently are not enjoyed to their full potential by me and others.

I suspect my pre-teen son senses this and that may be the impetus behind him asking for his own fountain pen for Christmas. I was really excited about getting him pen engaged but on further reflection it motivates me to share my things a little more and reduce their status to just things. Santa spoiler alert: I purchased him a Pilot Metropolitan with his name printed on the cap. As a young boy that would have been a real treasure for me. I hope he sees it the same way, enjoys it and most importantly his over protective dad keeps his mouth shut about how it’s being used by its young owner.

I would love to hear your approach in starting a young person down the stationery journey.

Remember: Write something nice……

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8 thoughts on “The Real Value of My Pens

  1. How funny to see I am not the only one …

    I have bought clothes twice so I can wear one and keep the other, I have spared shoes until they were 10 years old and fell apart because the glue loosened, without ever having worn them, I have … etc.

    But I make a conscious attempt to use my pens, and not only that, use my expensive 80-350€ fountain pen _all_the_time_ !!!! Those are always inked and in rotation, I must use them otherwise they will clog and get damaged and I so want to enjoy them.

    My children are 7 and 8 years old now and started using 1€ cheapo fountain pens when they were 3 and 4, so the interest and ability was sparked when they were quite young. Now as they go to school they got my lower range fountain pens, both use 2 KaWeCo Sports each at school and I also share my inks with them.

    I am lucky to have children who are very neat with their stuff, they do not chew on pens or lose things, everything is treated nicely and carefully.

    That is why they always get nice stationary, good quality coloured pencils, good graphite pencils in different grades for sketching or math or writing. Luckily, in Germany school children are demanded to use fountain pens for most of their writing from year 1 or 2 onwards and also get trained in cursive handwriting with these, only sometimes they use pencils, so the love for fountain pens can grow.

    They are proud of their happy little KaWeCo Sport pens and the fun colours they get to use in them (everything readable except red, that is the teachers’s colour) and the ooh and aah about my flex writing, trying to emulate that with dip nibs already. So, I am very proud of them! (And about myself, to let them freely use things I sort of used to forbid myself in fear of ruining or damaging them. Silly we are sometimes, aren’t we?! 😉

    • Thanks Julie for stopping by and sharing your experience, so true and yes that has happened to me on a pair of shoes that I didn’t want to mess up until that really big outdoor adventure that never happened, what a waste for me. Great to read your young ones have such a solid discipline for it already. The other fun pen that comes to mind is the Pilot Kakuno, fun colors and a great writer out of the box. That is probably the next one I buy my son if his interest advances.

      • My son wanted to take the Kaküno for school, but it leaked several times in his bag, I dunno why, as other pens (a Reform calligraphy stub and piston filler, a Plumix, a no-name piston filling fountain pen) never did, never do. Hopefully your Kaküno, if you decide to get one, behaves better! 😉

  2. I have a Kakuno and am enjoying it a lot. It’s a Japanese model taking their proprietary cartridges, not the Western version which takes standard international.I’ve been using it at work so haven’t carried it much but I think it would make a good starter pen; light, short, posts well, and the indented cap make it easy for little fingers to pull off. Nice nib too.

    I have two Parker Jotters which I kept in their boxes for over 20 years after being gifted them as a teen. And it was taking them to work in my suit pocket which taught me that I love *using* pens.

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