As awesome as the postcard and letters are, the true star of this week has to be the absolutely gorgeous fountain pen I acquired Friday afternoon, while the sun was shining and the weather was a balmy 65 degrees.
Now, I’ve been fond of fountain pens for quite some time. My fingers were perpetually stained when I began using my mom’s old pens for the first time in 3rd grade, and these days I always write my letters with the very cute green and pink plastic pen I picked up in France in 2003. This year I trolled a half a dozen sites and reviewed dozens of pens before I found Mater’s Christmas gift, which was a beautiful demi-sized, mother-of-pearl fountain pen with black veins from the Parker Duofold collection. (Thankfully, I wasn’t paying for it. It is, however, half price right now at Pens and Leather. Just a mere $250 people! o.O)
I wanted something similar—visually arresting, slender enough to accommodate my small hand, a nib that glides like butter, and just heavy enough to seek out the paper itself—without breaking my grandmother’s budget (she does, after all, have 9 more graduation gifts to get through eventually).
I ran the gentlemen at The Fountain Pen Hospital in circles while I appraised the heft, thickness, size and material of the nib, and general attractiveness of just about every pen in the shop. My wonderfully patient companion pondered the similarities between finding a magic wand and the right pen, and the hypothetical properties and uses of the latter were it also magical. (There’s a short story in there somewhere, and I am determined to have it at some point!)
The Tiffany Pine Bough specimen was disappointing despite the stunning exterior—too heavy, the body too rough in the hand, the nib merely stainless steel. And I’ve found the interesting Waterman and Mont Blanc pens have a tendency to odd shapes and a certain amount of tacky ostentation. The Sheaffers’ hooded nibs strike me as a little too streamlined. The Namiki pens are too expensive. Others were too fat, too light, too ugly, too boring, etc.
And then there she was…
She’s a slender piece of work, with just enough curve to feel just right between my fingers. Her polished ruby red body thrills the eye, oh yes! and she flashes just enough gold to let you know she’s no ordinary lady. A cap with a feathered train, a wide belt, a thin necklace around her shiny black neck. And when her top comes off…well, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, it’s enough to knock me breathless. Check out those lines!
When I brought her home, and we spent some time getting to know each other, she whispered in my heart:
Call me Carmen…