A year and a half ago, I wrote a piece about the glut of pens in our house. We bought most of them in the years our daughter was in school, refreshing the supply annually without knowing there were still plenty of them under her bed, her desk, and her stuffed animals. I vowed then never to buy another pen.
Today, my brother-in-law Stuart called to inform me he’ll soon be dissolving his solo law practice to join a firm, so he’ll have no need for the hundreds of promotional pens he bought earlier this year to give out to clients. He said he’d send me a few. I replied that, while I appreciate the offer, I’d rather he didn’t, because we have no shortage of writing implements here.
In fact, less than five minutes before he called, I found a pen that had fallen under my office chair some time ago. I tried to stick it back in the pen holder on my desk, but it’s so jammed with pens, pencils, Sharpies, and a pair of scissors that there’s no room for another pen.
I joked that Stuart should offer them for free to anyone willing to pay “shipping and handling,” which he laughingly said he’d be happy to do, considering the alternative is simply tossing the pens out. But I don’t know how many takers he’d get.
After all, most of us don’t do any actual handwriting anymore. I spend much of my day in front of my laptop keyboard. If I’m not in my office and need to jot down a note, I do it on my phone. Like Stuart, I have enough ink in the house to last the rest of our lives — and then have everyone at my memorial service take a ballpoint as my parting gift.
But you probably won’t need another pen, either.