I’m not too proud to admit it. I have a writing utensil fetish. I love pens. I love pencils. I love markers. The colors, the points, the grips, the clickers, the caps, the erasers, the barrels, the smooth flow of ink, or the click of the lead advancing…it all makes me sigh. At any given moment, I have in my possession more writing utensils than the average person uses in a lifetime, I’m sure. I recently went through an old box of pens, and discovered some from as early as the 90’s. I may have a problem.
I’m not sure what it is that might have started this fetish. Maybe it’s because I grew up at the tail end of the fountain pen era, and the early beginnings of the mechanical pencil era. I can remember using my parents’ fountain pens (when allowed), and getting my own first fountain pen when I was in the 5th grade or so, and allowed to write in pen. I can also remember when the first BIC pens came out. What an invention! A pen you would use and throw away when it was empty! They cost 19 cents! WHAT??!! And I remember my first Parker Jotter ball point pen. A clicker pen that was a bit “upper crusty” in the world of a middle school student. Mine was olive green. And then, in middle school, came the Flair pens. They were my first felt tipped markers. They came in a pack of 12 colors, and they were wonderful! They came out with a “PsychoFLAIRapy” calendar, which featured the ink drawings of Peter Max, and you could color in the pages with your FLAIR pens. It was most groovy! I wish I had kept them.
From there, I moved into some serious pen, pencil and marker experimentation. Colored ball point ink came along, and then suddenly there were Mr. Sketch Markers, that were scented like fruits. Sharpies started coming out in COLORS…not just a black utility marker any more. There were highlighters, water-soluble overhead projector pens, and eventually dry-erase markers. And then, enter gel pens! You could write on black paper with them! Then came the Sharpie paint markers…oh, the vivid colors! Then Sharpie started making PENS that didn’t bleed through the paper! And retractable clicking Sharpies. Now Sharpie even makes a liquid pencil. I’m not even sure what that IS, but I want some!
When I am shopping, I always gravitate to the school/office supply section of whatever store I’m in. Sometimes I have to go to the office supply store, just to satisfy my need to fondle the merchandise. I can spend hours perusing the varieties of writing utensils. There are so MANY! And they’re all so PRETTY! I have collections of pens, pencils and markers all over the house, and at my desk at work. I have to have the “regular” pens and pencils, and then the “special” pens and markers to round out my collections. I need access to colors at all times, it seems. There are times for black ink, but almost everything needs a splash of color, as far as I’m concerned. I even enjoy going through the old pens and markers and testing each one to see if they still work before tossing them out. And I have a hard time parting with some of them, let me tell you! So, if you are wondering what to get me for my next birthday or holiday gift, please know that you are sure to please me with some colorful pens or markers!