No, I’m not backing out of the challenge I set for myself, but a couple of questions came up after I published last week’s post so here’s a bit of follow-up to address those.
Question #1: Does this mean you won’t be going to any pen shows?
It does not. That’s the ONE out I’ve given myself which I didn’t note in my original post. I may consider going to a pen show this year, and if I do, I’ll allow myself a pen (or two). But it needs to be unique in some way—not just another iteration of something that I already own. And you know what? It’s also possible that I’ll go to a pen show and NOT buy a pen. So much about a pen show is the people. Old friends. New friends. Steeping in that stew of passionate pen people. There’s really nothing like it. Purchases aren’t required to have a great time, though, of course the temptation is hard to resist when you’re surrounded by so many pretty things. The key is discernment. What do I really want? Maybe something. Maybe nothing.
Highlights from the 2018 Atlanta Pen Show:
Question #2: What about stationery gifts?
I did think that maybe I gave the wrong impression—that gifts of stationery aren’t welcome because I have so much. So when my cousin asked this question, I knew I wanted to address it here.
Rest assured, I’m thrilled with stationery gifts and never squirrel these away for later use. They’re always enjoyed and put into action as quickly as I can unwrap them because doing so reminds me of the people who gave them to me. Again, it’s about having someone “get you,” which is such a special feeling. So it’s not just a gift of pencils. It’s a gift of pencils + years of friendship. It’s not just a gift of ink. It’s a gift of ink from someone who knows you well enough to pick out just the right color. These gifts mean so much more to me than the pencils and ink that I buy for myself. They are used, and used with love.
Some recent Christmas and birthday gifts! All currently in use:
In summary, people are > pens.
That said, I’m resisting (but just barely) the newly-released TWSBI ECO-T in Saffron. GREAT color! Very reasonably priced! But a vow is a vow.
<Takes deep breaths>
This, and your previous recent posts have been very inspiring, Mary! Thank you! So far this year I bought one pen, immediately knew I didn’t LOVE it and sold it on. I would like to attempt what you are doing with one exception – if I find a vintage Mont Blanc Monte Rosa with fine Kugel nib I will most likely buy – and I have an expert helping me. Otherwise – maybe just at a pen show. And, as you said and I agree wholeheartedly- pen shows are almost more about the people than the pens. At least that’s been my experience.