When was the last time you actually refused to take someone’s gift pen? Whether it was a plain store-bought one or the flashier type carrying a corporation’s name and logo? We just did it two days ago.
The gentleman, a middle aged kind acquaintance of ours that we happened to run into on the street while killing some time before our bus departure, somehow got to pull one out of his briefcase for us – unsolicitedly and unexpectedly. With the same momentum I gently pushed his hand holding the pen back, letting him know that we are not pen collectors and that we only use them because we still need to sign things occasionally. As a result there are a total of three pens in our entire household – perhaps one or two still too many. We write with pencils instead. Our handmade calendars are written on with walnut ink and so do we use walnut ink when mailing packages.
The gentleman said this act of ours was truly unique, no one had ever refused a pen from him (as though it was either his job or hobby to hand out pens like alms).
Later, on the bus – we ended up taking the same bus home – I intended to jot down his name and phone number, so out of sheer old habit I asked if he could lend me his pen… What a high ball for him to slam down :
“No – he said only half jokingly -, just go ahead and use your pencil! Or better yet, don’t you have a cell phone to type it in?”
Have you ever given a thought to what just might be in that ball point pen ink you cordially write a greeting card with to your loved ones or the love letter itself?