The end of the school year brings with it that dreaded animal, the school gift. I used to try being creative with them, picking out a book I thought the teacher would like, but lately I’ve just been picking up gift cards to B&N. Let ’em select their own book. So there.
It’s not that I don’t like the teachers. I do. It’s time and mental energy I lack.
But this year, I had a terrific idea. Keep in mind that most of my Patented Brilliant Ideas result in death, destruction, panic and belly-button lint.
My idea? I’d get them awesome pens.
It was just as easy to get the teachers a Parker pen at Staples as it was to go across the street to B&N for a gift card, and it cost the same. They were pretty, and you know they’re going to get used.
I was in the room when Kiddo#2 handed her gift bags to her teacher and the para.
The teacher was delighted with the pen. The para looked confused, then told Kiddo#2 that it would be very useful, as she always needs “a pen that works.” Her thank-you note said the same thing.
That’s when it occurred to me: some people just don’t ‘get’ pens.
I’m a writer. Moreover, I’m a hand-writer. My handwriting itself is scrawl that probably gives God a headache trying to decipher it, but I much prefer to hand-write my novels. It just feels more intimate that way, like I’m in physical contact with the words I’m recording.
And really, there’s nothing to equal the feel of a high-quality fountain pen. It’s like writing with liquid air. (Plus, all the COLORS! You can get ink in any color you want! Whee!)
My Patient Husband discovered a while back that jewelry doesn’t make my eyes light up. When he wants to give me a special gift, he looks into the Watermans or the Sheaffers.
It’s not just me. A friend (who may identify herself if she wishes) showed me her engagement ring, and I said it was nice. Then she showed me the fountain pen her intended had given her at the same time, and I gushed over it, and she gushed over it, and we kept talking about the pen, and the poor guy finally muttered something about if he’d only known, he’d have saved the money on the ring and only gotten the pen.
But then there are the folks who think a pen is just a writing implement. Clearly my daughter’s para was one of those. And I feel bad.
I feel bad for her because I gave her a cruddy gift.
And I feel bad for the pen too. Because it deserved someone who would love it.