Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Fountain Pen Collecting Advice For The New Husband

humor collecting

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 unigami

unigami

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 63 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 07 May 2015 - 19:44

Many years ago the great author Patrick McManus wrote a classic essay called "Gunrunning" about the trials and tribulations of gun collecting. The same advice rings true for us as well, so I have given it a fountain pen slant and present it here for your enjoyment.
 
Fountain Pen Collecting Advice for the New Husband
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
First of all, let's consider the psychology of the young wife as it pertains to her husband's fountain pens. It is important to note that the first pen the husband brings home is likely to be greeted with considerable enthusiasm by the spouse, and she may even brag about it to her friends.  "Fred brought home a fountain pen the other day for writing business correspondence and learning fancy writing," she will say. "I'll let him address all of our Christmas Cards!"
 
Of course, Fred must then explain that for practicing fancy Spencerian script he will need a fountain pen with a flex nib.
"Why can't you do that with the same pen?" she says, "I really think you could if you wanted to."
Fred then explains the difference in the nibs and how they write and his wife finally agrees that he probably does need another pen.
 
Now that's the typical situation that a new husband faces.  He starts off with a base of two pens, his wife granting him the benefit of the doubt that two pens are actually needed.  After the second pen, the argument that he needs a new pen will be dismissed by the wife with an upward roll of the eyeballs and a big sigh. We are talking only third pen here, remember, nothing more.  If you are just married, upward-rolling eyeballs and big sighs may seem like formidable obstacles, but they're really not that serious.  Go buy the fountain pen and bring it home.  The eyeball-rolling and big sighs will let up after a few days.  Now comes the biggie -- the Fourth Pen!!
 
With the mere mention of the need for a fourth pen, the wife skips right over the eyeball-rolling and big sighs and goes directly to a recital of your deficiencies of character, weird masculine quirks, and all sins committed to date. She will bring up such matters as saving for the baby's college education, the fact that she is still wearing the same clothes that her parents bought her in High School, the threatening note from the Electric Company, etc.  "And you want another pen???" she will finish, the sarcasm flickering around the room like sheet lightning.
 
The fourth pen is the tough one, and in the face of this spousal assault, there is always the temptation to sneak the fourth pen. That's a mistake. Your wife's knowing that you purchased a fourth pen is essential to further development of your fountain pen collection. Here's why. After you bring the pen home and show it to your wife, she will shake her head and say, "I don't know why you need all those pens."  Note that she doesn't say "four pens" but rather the vague and general "all those pens."   Henceforth, she will think of your fountain pen collection not in terms of specific numbers but as a single collective entity -- all!
 
To thoroughly grasp this important concept, suppose your wife is dusting the pen case. "Him and all those pens," she might say to herself, possibly with a very tiny tolerant smile. What she fails to notice is that there are now five pens in the case! Once the psychological barrier of the fourth pen is crossed, the pen collection can be expanded indefinitely without the wife's noticing, provided the husband uses some common sense and doesn't add too many pens at once.  Eight or nine pens a year is about right, spaced at decent intervals.
 
There is one pitfall in this strategy -- the pen case itself. Although the wife will never bother to count the pens, she will notice that there are three empty spaces in the case.  Therefore, you must make sure that there are three empty slots in your case, even as your collection expands from four to sixty pens. If you plan on enlarging your collection, buy a pen case that can be expanded by adding new sections, so that there are always three or more empty slots.  It works. My wife of thirty years told me the other day that she must be slowing down with age. "When we were first married," she said, "I could dust that pen case of yours in ten seconds and now it takes me nearly half an hour."
 
But how do you get all those pens into the house without your wife's knowing, you ask?  Actually, it is all right if every few years you simply walk right into the house and say "Look, dear, I bought a new fountain pen."
 
"Neato," she will say.  "I'm ecstatic. Now tell me, what did you want to buy another pen for when you already have all those pens?  I bet you haven't even written with most of them in the past five years."
 
Written with them?  Yes, a wife will actually say that. She will not be able to understand that you needed the pen because you needed it. She will not understand that you need the pens to just be there, to be your pens, to be looked at and fondled from time to time. She will not be able to fathom why you need the pens even though you don't need to write with them. Tell her that a fountain pen collection is like a wilderness.  Even though we don't use all of it all the time, we need to know it's there. Probably won't do any good to tell her that, but it's worth a try.
 
Stating the simple truth often works in explaining an occasional pen purchase to your wife. But why take unnecessary risks? Go with your best lie and get the pen stashed in your expandable pen case as quickly as possible.
 
Oddly enough,  there are a few really good lies for explaining the purchase of a new pen.  There's the classic "A Fantastic Bargain," of course, in which you tell your wife that the pen you just paid $300 for was on sale for $7.50.  If her eyebrows shoot up in disbelief, you maintain that three men in white coats showed up at the pen store and led the manager away before he could slash the prices on the rest of the pens.
 
The "Play on Her Sympathy Ploy" works well on young, inexperienced wives. It goes something like this: Rush into the house wiping tears of joy from your cheeks. Then cry out, "Look Martha, look! A man at the cigar store sold me this pen.  It's identical to the one my grandfather gave me on his deathbed.  Gramps said to me, 'Boy, I'm givin' you the ol' Waterman here, because every time you write with it you will remember all of the good times we had together.'  Oh, how I hated to sell that pen to pay for Momma's operation!  But now I got one just like it! Or maybe it's even the same pen!  Do you think it might actually be the same pen, Martha?"
 
Warning! Don't ever try the Sympathy Ploy on a wife you've been married to for longer than five years, unless you want to see a woman laugh herself sick. It's a disgusting spectacle, I can tell you.
 
The "Fantastic Investment" lie will work on occasion, provided you lay the groundwork carefully in advance. "That ol' Harvey Schmartz is a shrewd one," you say. "He bought a Mandarin Yellow Parker Duofold for $500 as an investment. Three weeks later he sold it for eighty-seven thousand dollars!  Boy, I wish I could lay my hands on a 1927 Mandarin Yellow Sr. Duofold. We'd sell it when I retire and buy us a condo in Aspen and tour Europe with the change".
 
After you've used up all your best lies, you are left with only one option.  You must finally screw up your courage, square your jaw, and make up your mind that you are going to do what you probably should have done all along -- sneak the new pens into the house.
 
Here are some proven techniques for stealth pen collecting:
 
The Surprise Party -- You arrive home and tell your wife that you have to go to a surprise birthday party for one of your business partners and you picked up a little gift for him on the way home.  "Oh how cute!" she will exclaim, "he likes fountain pens too!"
 
The Artwork -- You fashion a clever sculpture out of a Triumph Sheaffer Snorkel and some empty vintage ink bottles.  "Look Sweetheart", you say to your spouse. I made a little planter for our living room!  She gags.  "Not for my living room," she growls.  "Take it to your den and don't ever let me see that monstrosity again!"  A variation on this ploy is to tie a picture wire to the new pen and call it a wall hanging.
 
The Loan -- A friend shows up at your door and hands you your new pen. "Thanks for loaning me one of your fountain pens." he says. "It worked great for my son's art project".  Make sure your accomplice can be trusted though.  I tried "The Loan" with Retch Sweeny one time and he didn't show up with the pen for three weeks, and that was only after I threatened to hire a hit man.
 
Spare Parts -- Disassemble the pen and carry it home in a paper bag. Mention casually to the Mrs. that you picked up some odds and ends at a garage sale down the street.
Works like a charm!
 
By the way, does anyone know where the little spring clip gizmo goes in a Vanishing Point?

Edited by unigami, 07 May 2015 - 19:46.

Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords. - Richard Brautigan


Sponsored Content

#2 ac12

ac12

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,535 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA - SFO
  • Flag:

Posted 07 May 2015 - 21:31

Don't ask her about the number of shoes and purses she has and she won't ask about your pens.


San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com


#3 inkstainedruth

inkstainedruth

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,998 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 07 May 2015 - 21:32

:lticaptd:

Unfortunately, these ploys do not really work if the gender roles are reversed....  As speaking from the point of view of being married to "Mr. BIC Fine Point".

Although he seemed amazingly unconcerned and blasé when I came home from antiquing last weekend with a Parker Challenger and a 2/3 full bottle of Skrip Royal Blue.  :huh:  Okay, I think I might have forgotten to mention the bottle of Edelstein Tanzanite I had picked up the day before my little, er, excursion (but honestly, it was a nice day for a ride to West Virginia, and I didn't know ahead of time that *any* of the booths in the place would have pens...).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#4 ac12

ac12

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,535 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA - SFO
  • Flag:

Posted 07 May 2015 - 22:10

Ruth,

Your husband must have some vices; golf, TV, computers, wine, etc.

I have several kinda expensive hobbies, so I don't complain when my wife want to buy something; jewelry, clothes, shoes.


San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com


#5 dneal

dneal

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 994 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 May 2015 - 05:16

I don't sneak guns or pens into the house because of fear of the wife complaining.

 

I sneak them into the house because when she sees a new one, she says "oooh, is that for me?"



#6 ac12

ac12

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,535 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA - SFO
  • Flag:

Posted 08 May 2015 - 05:22

 

I don't sneak guns or pens into the house because of fear of the wife complaining.

 

I sneak them into the house because when she sees a new one, she says "oooh, is that for me?"

 

:D


San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com


#7 ThePenInMe

ThePenInMe

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 96 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 May 2015 - 07:37

I don't sneak guns or pens into the house because of fear of the wife complaining.
 
I sneak them into the house because when she sees a new one, she says "oooh, is that for me?"


😂😂😂😂😂

#8 deepak23

deepak23

    Sittin-on-a-gate

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 774 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 May 2015 - 16:53

I don't sneak guns or pens into the house because of fear of the wife complaining.
 
I sneak them into the house because when she sees a new one, she says "oooh, is that for me?"


Thats the worst!

A lifelong FP user...


#9 dneal

dneal

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 994 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 May 2015 - 18:40

Last gun she snagged was a S&W airweight.  She was sitting on the porch when I got home, and said "what's that?" (which was followed by "oooh, is that for me?")  

 

*sigh*

 

When she saw the Sig 1911 (about a year after I bought it), she said (fondling it with a sly and covetous grin) "I didn't know you bought this". "There's a reason for that!" I said, snatching it back.

 

I'm lucky that the Yard-O-Led she absconded with has kept her content, but I did add an extra Visconti Classic to the basket when they came out.

 

She hasn't figured out the deal with Nakayas; but I think she heard my sphincter squeak when she noticed the Naka Ai and said "wow, that's pretty!".


Edited by dneal, 08 May 2015 - 18:40.


#10 Bisquitlips

Bisquitlips

    Bisquitlips

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,560 posts
  • Location:Everywhere I go...there I am!
  • Flag:

Posted 08 May 2015 - 20:23

The troubling thought is that I have lived and experienced all these things prior to reading this!  I could have written it!  It must be the natural inclinations that fear produces in those of us married FP fanatical types of folks...

 

Also, I know my wife has heard the "sphincter squeak" many times in our 18 years together, but has yet to ascertain what exactly it is that she is hearing.  God forbid if she ever figures it out!  I won't ever be able to hide anything again!  That would be better than any polygraph!

 

The only hope at that point would be to produce many manual sphincter squeaks during every conversation with her in hopes that the multitude of squeaks would mask the real thing when they happen involuntarily!  “Hi honey (squeak)… would you like (squeak) to go to Mexican (squeak) for dinner (squeak) tonight?"  That would be annoying to have to do, but after a little while my Kegle muscle would be in great shape!  I could probably write Spencerian script with it after some practice getting the nib pressures right!


 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

#11 dneal

dneal

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 994 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 May 2015 - 21:09

The problem with the Nakaya is that it's a Shiro Tamenuri. Those don't come in as often as the other colors, so it's not like I can just pick one up for her if she wants one.

On the plus side, I don't have to worry about divorce. She'd only get half our stuff, where she's essentially got all of it now if she wants... :o

#12 Bisquitlips

Bisquitlips

    Bisquitlips

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,560 posts
  • Location:Everywhere I go...there I am!
  • Flag:

Posted 08 May 2015 - 22:54

The problem with the Nakaya is that it's a Shiro Tamenuri. Those don't come in as often as the other colors, so it's not like I can just pick one up for her if she wants one.

On the plus side, I don't have to worry about divorce. She'd only get half our stuff, where she's essentially got all of it now if she wants... :o

 

 

:yikes: :yikes: :yikes:


 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

#13 JimCouch

JimCouch

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 503 posts
  • Location:Portland, Oregon

Posted 11 May 2015 - 18:19

This thread reminds me of the phrase:

 

I am afraid that when I die....

 

 

my wife will sell my pens for what I told her I paid for them!


Edited by JimCouch, 11 May 2015 - 18:19.

Jim Couch Portland, OR

#14 AAAndrew

AAAndrew

    (Not so) Wee Timorous Beastie

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,003 posts
  • Location:Durham, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 11 May 2015 - 19:32

It's not just pens or guns. This exact same thread happens amongst collectors since Og and Nog were talking about the size of their chipped flint collections and how to smuggle the latest chert projectile point into the cave.



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: humor, collecting



Sponsored Content




|