Monday, January 09, 2012

In the Beginning

Even though the Pear Tree Pen Company is not an active pen seller, my love for all things pen, paper and ink continues to grow. One of the questions I get asked most often is what ignited my passion for fountain pens. As I reviewed the contents of this blog recently, I realized that I have not explained how my interest began - what attracted me to fountain pens in the first place, and how long it took for the interest to grow into an addiction.

It began innocently enough when my wife gave me a fountain pen for a gift many years ago. It was a Waterman Hemisphere that she had purchased from eBay. She had received her very own fountain pen (a Waterman Gentleman) from her father as a graduation gift and enjoyed it. She also thought that every lawyer ought to have at least one nice pen - and I didn't have one. (In case you didn't know - I'm a U.S. based attorney). I remember opening the box and, upon viewing the pen, thought, "what a stupid gift!" (Of course, that sentiment was never voiced out loud.) Like many of the uninitiated, I figured pens were free from my office supply closet, so why would I want to carry this around, especially since I'd probably lose it anyway. Graciously, I said thank you, and brought the pen to my office where it sat on my desk, barely used.

A few months later, my father's birthday rolled around and I was planning to send him a birthday card. Seeing the pen on my desk, I re-inked it, wrote a nice note on the inside of the card and addressed the envelope. I wrote more slowly than usual because I was generally unfamiliar with fountain pens and didn't want to smear ink. My father phoned me a few days later to thank me for the card. To my surprise, he asked me who addressed the envelope and wrote in the card, because the handwriting was too neat for it to have come from me (I have always had notoriously poor handwriting - in elementary school, I consistently got "Ns" (for "needs improvement") in handwriting).

Upon reflection, I realized that the fountain pen had improved my handwriting - probably because I slowed down to write more legibly. This epiphany led me to research pens. Soon, as they say, the hook was set. The more I learned about the effect nib size and shape has on writing, I began to covet different pens with a variety of different nibs. From there, it progressed to learning about inks - different colors, different consistencies, different properties. Within a year, I was full-fledged pen geek.

Now you know my story. What's yours? I'd love to hear what caused you to fall in love with your favorite writing instrument.

Thanks for stopping by.