One of our sons gave his dad a pen for his birthday. He likes it so much that I casually said, “How about getting me one of those?” I always thought a pen was a pen, until it quit writing, but I was to find out differently. On our last trip to Staples guess what he bought me? It’s just
a roller ball, black ink pen and I wondered what made it different from the rest of today’s ball point pens. One look at the price and I knew what the difference was, the price. Actually, as I grow to like this pen, I’m finding out that it is different, perhaps it’s a quality pen. Then I remembered the price and I think a better description is a luxury pen.
It is a Cross pen. People used to take pride in buying this brand of pen because it was made in the United States. Now though the box says, you guessed it, “Made in China.” It seems these days, there are only a few things not made in China. Someone suggested if you are unable to find a good American-made pen, buy from a ally, such as Peilkan (Germany,) or Parker, (France).
Remember back in the 1950’s when we shunned items marked “Made In Japan.” We no longer do that and I suppose in fifty more years, “Made In China,” will become a good thing. Besides by then, China, to whom we are deeply indebted, may own our dear United States of America. Sorry, I couldn’t resist straying from our subject somewhat.
Some people prefer fountain pens. I remember my parents having a fountain pen. As children we were encouraged not to touch it. And, I don’t remember using a pen to write with, until the
ballpoints came into existence. Before that, I was perfectly satisfied to use a pencil. In order to use a fountain pen, you needed ink. I watched as my mom would pull the tiny lever on the side of the pen and dip it into an ink bottle. Then, releasing the lever drew the ink up into the pen’s reservoir. You may still buy fountain pens, and spend as much as a thousand dollars. I did notice that the Cross line-up of pens generally run from $20 to $500.
The Cross Townsend 10K is a favorite among male buyers. It sells for over one hundred dollars and is often used as a corporate gift.(Mine cost lots less). These gifts often find their way into dresser drawers, and sometimes, are never used. Such was the case when a man gave his friend a pen with a emblem attached making it look as if it had been a special gift. After much scrutiny, the gift receiver decided it was a Cross Townsend 10K. What does the 10K stand for? Take a guess!! The giver told him to keep it, anyway.
I couldn’t find out who said, “Ink isn’t dead, it just smells funny!’ Some describe it as smelling like seawater, with a slight mustiness. Others say it smells like ammonia. Going way back, people mastered writing with a quill. This is a flight feather, usually from a goose. By the way, some
fountain pens need refilling with an eyedropper. I can’t see any of us, who are used to a throw-away ballpoint pen, doing that today. The roller pen, like my new one, was designed to combine the convenience of a ballpoint pen with the smooth “wet ink” effect of a fountain. I like my husband’s taste in pens. It’s a luxury we could both do without, but it looks like we’re going to enjoy it for awhile.
How about you? What’s the luxury you could do without? There’s many, isn’t there? I’d love to hear from you, because you are the YOU in shirlandyou.