“Pen” Is a Verb Too–But “Addiction” Is Only a Noun

Back when my sons were young enough to go shopping with me, they used to work together to protect me from myself. Especially at places like Office Depot.

“Stay out of the pens section, Mom,” they would warn. “You know you don’t need more.”

Ahhhh…pens! Ink pens, in rainbow colors! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways brands.

When I was little, maybe 7-9, I loved those felt-tipped Flairs the best. I used them to draw. My drawings tended to feature the four Queens and Kings from the Narnia series–Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter Pevensie–with myself drawn in for good measure. Queen Gretchen. Every one of us outfitted in rich, royal colors. Sorry, I didn’t keep any of those drawings, but here are the Flairs…

Back then I bought these pens one at a time. A pack like this would have sent me into paroxysms.

Then I started journaling. As I’ve blogged about in the past, “journal” may not be an official verb yet, but it is to me! I started in 1975, and now, 44 years later, I’m still going.

A couple years of my life in here…

Flairs, I decided, weren’t as great for writing as they were for drawing. That’s when Sheaffer cartridge pens entered my life.

Remember these beauties? (Photo courtesy of Harvey Levine, MyAntiquePens.com)

Oh, those colors! Peacock Blue, Emerald Green…that delicious, chocolately Brown. My favorite journaling moments in those days involved switching colors when one cartridge ran empty, then watching the gradation of hues cross the page with my thoughts.

But boy, did I have some inky fingers in those days. And I doubt my teachers were too thrilled with my peacock-blue blots.

Somewhere along the line, though, the Sheaffers’ negative outweighed their glorious positives. Too many leaks, ink explosions, stained fingers. I got practical.

In my post on Journaling from 2013, I sang the praises of the Uniball. I still love those, but for more uniform, blot-free, downright sexy flow across the page, I now pledge my allegiance to the Pilot P-700.

Purple, and green? Be still, my heart!

After buying myself this multicolor pack, I had to go get my latest notebook and write. Did I have anything profound to say? Nope. I just lusted after the feel of that inky page-skating. And guess what? I got to capture that moment, if for no other reason than to laugh at myself a few years hence.

Don’t we all need a little more self-mockery in our lives?

Yeah…but now I’m gonna need a bigger steamer trunk.

Do you have a favorite pen, or paper for that matter? What writing implements speed up your heart?

Tattoo You: I Ink, Therefore…?

Butterhorn spoken here!

Butterhorn spoken here!

I could be the mom of most of the people I work with now. A young mom [even a hot young mom, she thinks hopefully], but still. I got a good 18 years on all but two of ’em.

So I pride myself on being able to converse freely with them about most topics. Music? Hey, I’m down. I love Mumford & Son, and don’t even flinch at Macklemore lyrics. Politics? I get ’em from The Daily Show and Colbert like most 20-somethings. And of course since we’re all working at a bakery, we share the universal language of FOOD.

But recently these whippersnappers my colleagues have begun discussing tattoos. One of ’em’s about to get one–a barn owl, if you’re interested–and everyone else is chiming in. And I’m hopelessly out of it.

It’s not that I wouldn’t consider getting a tattoo. I would…if someone very close to me died suddenly, and I thought s/he would appreciate that kind of remembrance. Or if I had a radical mastectomy and wanted to beautify my chest. Other than that…not feelin’ the tattoos so much.

I’m also not anti-tattoo. I’ve seen some beautiful ones, and I understand, with my rational brain, why some people want one. But I have to admit, this wholesale dive by so MANY people into an inky, painful, expensive sea leaves me a little baffled.

(courtesy cellar_door_films, WANA Creative Commons)Doubtless there’s a story behind this… (courtesy cellar_door_films, WANA Creative Commons)

Is it generational? I’d love to hear from some representatives of different age groups how they feel about tattoos. Personal, private remembrances only? Body-as-canvas? I wish I could take a survey, but this will have to do. Tell me how you feel about tattoos, and why.