Mightier Than The Sword

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - October 17, 2007
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If I may be so bold, I’d like to tell you about what is perhaps my wife’s only flaw and how it drives me crazy. I don’t know why, but my wife can never keep track of writing instruments, specifically pens. Since I am a writer, I am a fanatic about always having paper and something to write with on me at all times.

My dad was the same way, and I actually have the fountain pen he used to use when he wrote checks to pay the monthly bills. My 18-year-old son and I have a thing for fine writing instruments, so I am always scouring e-Bay and attending the collectors’ shows looking for pens.

Of course, when you have a Bic budget, Montblanc pens are a bit out of reach. I do have two really nice pens - gifts from my wife and kids - but they are so nice, I rarely use them. Instead, I carry around a pen encased in carbon fiber, the same stuff used in race cars and stealth fighter jets.

My wife is the polar opposite of me when it comes to pens. We have her pens strewn throughout the house just so that they’re handy when she needs them. She has pens from hotel rooms, logo pens from every pharmaceutical company you can think of, and my personal “favorite,” pens with flowers on them.

You know what I’m talking about - those pens that make it look like you’re signing checks with a sunflower stem. I guess the blossom feature makes them hard to misplace - kind of like the bathroom key for any doctor or dentist office you might visit. My wife has them everywhere.

It wouldn’t be a problem, except the other day I was at the register of a small store and I needed to sign my charge card receipt. For the first time in a million years, I had forgotten my pen at home. Luckily I had spotted one of those flower pens next to the register and grabbed it.

It was actually a real flower, so I ended up plucking it from its pot. I stood there looking at the cashier with a now-dead flower in my hand. I offered to buy her some new flowers, but I think she just wanted me to leave the store.

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