I have inflicted on myself a new addiction: fountain pens. Dammit.
I know many people have been addicted to this hobby for a long time. I was never interested, because I always felt like I would just ruin the pens. Also, my handwriting is terrible! And I’d never liked expensive pens anyway. I’m the sort of person who jabs at the paper when I feel strongly about what I’m writing. I’m the sort of person who buys cheap pens because I always worry about losing them, and it would be a disaster to be left without a single pen.
Of course now, there’s a pandemic, and we’re all stuck at home anyway, so losing pens isn’t much of a problem as we’re not going anywhere.
Another reason I was hesitant to start on fountain pens: When I was a child, someone had given me Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fountain pens. I didn’t know anything about fountain pens, and so I wondered about that cylinder with the ink, and I pressed the nib hard against paper when it wouldn’t write properly.
Clearly, the pens were ruined.
But now, truth be told, I think it was the lovely ink colors that got me. I saw friends posting about different nibs, different colors, different pens, and it was just so pretty! I thought, well, to hell with my awful handwriting.
I asked my friend Jovan for a recommendation, and she suggested the Platinum Preppy Wa Fountain Pen. Affordable, durable, and pretty: a good beginner pen! Oneal ordered it for me on Lazada, and he also got me ink vials and a cleaning set! One Saturday, we set off for Quezon City and Jovan taught me how to clean fountain pens. She also gave me some pens she wasn’t interested in anymore, and lots and lots of ink! She let me try her glass pen too.
The nice thing about getting started on a hobby after other people do is that there are plenty of people who will give you advice and share what they have with you. After Jovan’s tutorial, we went over to visit Yale, and Caroline gave me even more ink!
Of course I had to order my own glass pens. And I scrounged around the house for a box for my inks. And I needed a pen stand. And oh what about a place for the pens to rest? So many things to think about!
A few nights ago, I tried cleaning one of the fountain pens that Jovan had given me. It was lovely to discover that it could be a meditative exercise, and both wonderful and awful for those who tend to be obsessive-compulsive. It was fun to figure out how to put ink on the newly cleaned pen, and rather stressful to worry if I had broken it!
I don’t think I’ll be buying any new pens or inks anytime soon, as I haven’t even had the chance to play with all the new ink and all the glass pens yet! But I can see why people obsess over fountain pens. And I love how it forces me to slow down when I write, to consider each word carefully, rather than scribbling furiously.