Pen Frenzy

When I was a child, my mother gave me many pens from her office. Along with sheets of copy paper joined by metallic fasteners, she’d hand me several pieces of Pilot BP-S ballpoint pen in black or blue. Sometimes, they would come in other colors, too, like green, red, and purple.

My father did something similar. He used to work for a bank and he liked saving promotional pencils and pens so he could give them to me later. Once, he handed me a bundle of pencils and pens, each of them marked with some company’s logo. To this day, I remember that particular moment as one of the happiest moments in my childhood.

When I started joining writing contests in grade school, my parents were so supportive. Papa, in particular, always took me to the bookstore to buy me nice pens. He knew writing competitions were like wars and I had to be properly armed.

In high school, I started using Pilot G-Tec. It was the pen of choice of many upperclassmen in our publication, so I thought I should also try it. One day, Mama bought me one and I fell in love with it. It became my favorite pen as well. From then on, I started allocating a small portion of my allowance from Papa so I could buy my favorite pen. Even Mama was aware of how fond I was of it, so even after Papa passed away, she still made sure I’d always have a G-Tec in my pocket.

My obsession with pens continued in college, especially when I began working in my second year at the university. Apart from G-Tec, which was still my go-to pen, I also explored other types of pens from different brands. I tried gel pens of diverse colors and scents and felt tip pens of varying point sizes. I just wanted to have something nice to write with. I was a creative writing major, after all.

Of course, it didn’t stop even as I graduated and began working full-time. In fact, it just intensified. Now with higher purchasing power, I was freer to explore other types of pens that I had previously thought of as out of reach. I even hoarded those fancy-looking pens sold at Fullybooked.

Eventually, I discovered Muji, which was pretty life-changing for me. I fell in love with its products, particularly its notebooks and retractable pens. I just loved how smooth it was to write using those tools. Plus, they would still write smoothly even after getting dropped several times.

I learned about fountain pens, too. Many of my writer friends were into them, and from the very start, I have been in awe of them. However, according to a friend, they could be very addictive. I was already really crazy about books at that time, so I thought having another vice would not be a great idea. And so I had to forget about fountain pens to protect myself.

Then came November 29, 2020. We had to go out to buy a new computer monitor for my workstation at home. We dropped by a bookstore at the mall to look for a book I’d been wanting to read. It was not available at the moment, so I thought I’d just get some writing essentials. I bought new notebooks and felt tip pens.

Later that day, while unpacking my new writing tools, Tim asked if I’d ever considered using fountain pens. I told him about my decision to just avoid them because of how addictive they could be. But according to him, it was probably time for me to finally give in. He said fountain pens would surely suit my beautiful handwriting. Just like that, all my fountain pen fantasies were reawakened.

The following weekend, he bought me my first fountain pen: a Lamy Safari in matte charcoal. It came with a fine nib, some ink cartridges, a converter, a bottle of Lamy Blue-Black ink, and a set of fountain pen notebooks. I was so happy that I had a flashback of the moment Papa gave me a bundle of pencils and pens from different companies.

And as expected, it was only the beginning. Just a few days after getting my Lamy Safari, I bought a clear Pilot Kakuno with a medium nib and a bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku ink in Tsutsuji from an online seller.

Then, a few days after Christmas, I got another fountain pen: a TWSBI Eco in cement grey with an extra-fine nib. I also ordered a bottle each of Diamine Soft Mint and Diamine Oxblood inks online. Then, to complete the lineup, I also cleaned my Sheaffer Viewpoint calligraphy pen from two years ago.

Now I can’t stop thinking about my fountain pens and inks! I know it’s a bit too much that I got three new pens and four bottles of inks in a span of a month, so I’ve been trying to convince myself not to buy new fountain pens and inks in the next few months. But, come on! Who am I kidding?

Perhaps, my parents are to blame for this madness.

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