I get a range of responses, from nothing, to:
- "Ooooohh. Fancy pen!" From colleagues at work, when I first switched. It's a bit of ribbing, really, because they know I'm not a guy to put on airs..
- One of my favorites: " It's been years since I've seen someone use a fountain pen. I enjoyed watching you write."
- "I remember using those. You get ink all over the place with them. <sniff>" I bite my tongue so that I don't reply, "Only if you're clumsy."
- "Pretty pen!" "Wanna try it?" "Can I? Oh, pretty ink, too!"
Unfortunately, many of the comments are from cashiers, so even though they seem interested, there isn't time to let them ask more about it.
Addendum : No one ever thought it was a weapon. I think the responses we get are based, in part, on our age. I'm middle- aged, so I think I may get more deference now than if I were much younger.
Plus, people my age are expected to do strange things. Things like wearing shorts that are above our knees, wearing a watch, and other weird stuff.
I wear shorts above my knees and wear a watch all the time. It's not a middle-aged thing, it a thing of taste!
People here, once they see that someone uses a fountain pen, they instantly think 'rich and therefore, snobbish.' We only learn how to write in grades 3 and 4, and we never use FP's. Not even the art teachers in schools here use fountain pens or acknowledge them. I've been around and asked... A lot...
In my age group, (I'm 18) people give me a hard time because I prefer a fountain pen over the newest iPhone. Seems to be what media and popular culture has told people, and thus, they are distasteful to them and people who use them.
My music teacher used a FP to write music, and he actually did have a music nib on it. Brand? I can't say because I never got close enough to take a full gander. My english teacher used fountain pens every now and then so her and I talked about them and penmanship a bunch.
... That makes sense now, the "rich and snobbish" thing. I was using an FP to write a message inside a book, and one of my former acquaintances (no longer acquainted for the obvious reason that is about to follow), who is from Canada, glanced and said, "psh, snob". I had no idea what that was about; the pen was a Lamy Safari. It's a good pen, but not exactly top-of-the-line, state-of-art pen that screams "I am rich and I am endowed with all that money can give!". I've used the pen in the UK, and all I got was "would you like the ink cartridges for your Lamy? We have some" or "oh, you're using a Lamy". The Americans give me no comment.
Now that I think about it, with all of his responses to me, I'd say that they aren't distasteful, but rather, jealous. It sets you apart from others and an FP appears to be an indirect way of telling people, "I am different from you. I can spend money and time on a pen (which is a luxury item in a common perception; after all, bic rods are a dollar a bag?), and I have. I have taste, class and culture". It's not that they want the pen, but they identify you as classy.
I'd gotten plenty of jibes from that fellow, in regards to all sorts of things, starting with wine, coffee, all the way to my leather-bound copy of Burns. It was rather clear in the end that he had a reverse inferiority complex regarding manner and culture to me, which struck me as pretty ridiculous. But as a wise man once said, "what you have is normal to you, but perhaps not normal to others".
Edited by GabrielleDuVent, 03 June 2013 - 10:08.
Tes rires retroussés comme à son bord la rose,
Effacent mon dépit de ta métamorphose;
Tu t'éveilles, alors le rêve est oublié.
-Jean Cocteau, from Plaint-Chant, 1923