Over at the Levenger Blog, Steve Levenger brings up the idea of carrying your own pen in his Bring Your Own Pen—The New Normal, Again. He notes how as he was leaving home one day, he had his mask and his gloves but realized he forgot something—a pen. He then ponders if COVID-19 might result in people carrying their own pens again, as they did in the last century, because “[n]owadays, those communal pens don’t look so good.”
Truthfully, those communal pens have never looked so good to me. They were always seemed dirty, they were always cheap, and they never seemed to write well. The owners’ concerns about theft that resulted in placing large plastic flowers, chains, or taping plastic eating utensils on them only them that much less attracted and more difficult to use.
I am a pen snob—I admit and I’m proud of it. I like nice tools, I like my own tools, andI like taking care of those tools. Even taking into account the tools I truly love, my iPhone, iPads, and MacBook Pro, I still carry a pen. I can’t remember ever not carrying a pen or a pencil, or both. As an engineering student I had my collection of good quality mechanical pencils with various weights of lead and diameters (I preferred a 0.3 mm HB lead) that I always had with me. As I moved to do more administrative work and fewer calculations, I gravitated towards pens and now carry a nice fountain pen of two. It is part of my wardrobe. And, to be honest, I am just a little bit suspect of someone who asks to borrow a pen because they don’t have one.
Oh yeah, don’t even ask if you can borrow my fountain pen—that answer is a most definite No!