I know that I’ve sort of become known for my little “first world” problems rants about my life, but can I just tell you about the most recent situation to really chap my hide?


I am particular about my writing utensils.  And by particular, I mean absolutely anal retentive.  I hate ballpoint pens.  I like pens that flow and write with ease.  When I was in college, I was so obsessive about pens that I bought a new pen every time I took a final.  A pen, a blue book and grape gum.  I don’t like worrying if my pen is going to work well, or run out of ink, or do that terrible dry scratching across paper that annoys the hell out of me.  I like flow, baby.

Recently, I bought a sweet little six-pack of Uniball pens.  The colors were perfect: hot pink, burgundy, turquoise, purple, sea foam green.  I loved them immediately.  I could grade papers and write and it was so lovely and easy.  It was a simple time.  A happy time.  I had bright color options, a steady ink flow, and JOY.

My became obsessed with color-coding my planner.  I have so many things going on this year, between teaching, a teacher support program I am required to be involved in, a program I coordinate, my own fun life, and a billion other things, or so it seems.  See?


My life seemed fun.  Boring meeting?  THAT GOES IN BRIGHT BLUE.  Friend’s birthday?  PURPLE.  I loved being able to look at my calendar and see exactly what I had going on during a day, just by color alone.  An OCD person’s dream come true.

I made the mistake of taking my pens to work.  I kept them in a tiny, polka dotted pouch.  And darn it, I loved the pouch almost as much as I love the pens.  It was bright, cute, fun…easy.  And I was happy.

But I went to grade papers last week, and realized my little pouch was nowhere to be found.  I called Andrew in a frenzy asking him if he’d seen my PRECIOUS POUCH OF PENS.

No, he had not.

I of course assumed that he was experiencing Male Pattern Blindness and that surely, they were somewhere to be found around the apartment.  I tore my desk at work apart, looked in my car, searched high and low.  ALL FOR STUPID PENS.

When I arrived home, I found that Andrew was indeed correct: they were gone.

Seriously?  I was upset, y’all.  Like, ridiculously frustrated.  I know it’s a weird fetish, but I seriously can’t work unless I have the right pens. I began watching my students, wondering if they’d stolen my pens.  I suspected the janitor, my co-workers, everyone who’d been in my classroom.  Who would do such a thing: deprive a girl of her pens, her lovely, sweet Uniballs?  WHO?  This, my friends, is injustice.

But, after 24 hours, and a lot of searching, I had to march myself down to Office Depot, purchase Pens Part Deux and a new (UGLIER!) case.

It was a sad day, and parting with $10 for new pens was tough.  But, my planner is organized, my papers are graded and all is right with the world.

Let this serve as a warning: IF YOU TOOK MY PENS, I WILL FIND YOU.


Filed under life with titch

27 responses to “PEN GATE ’09

  1. I totally get it. I typically have multiple orgasms when I walk down the pen aisle of any store, even if it’s just the last minute impulse by section at 7-11. A gal’s gotta have her pens.

    A lot of people are going to say to you “Why don’t you just go buy new ones?” These people do not get it.

  2. And I meant “buy”, not “by”, when I was talking about 7-11. Just wanted to make that clear.

  3. kel

    Your pens are with my black skull scarf. I wish I knew where that is…

  4. I swear, Amy, you are a woman after my own heart. I LOVE pens. (Yeahhhh…. How weird does that sound?) But, seriously, I use like six or seven different pens a day, all with a specific color, texture, and purpose. My coworkers kind of make fun of me. My family thinks I’m nuts. I once had an ex-boyfriend buy me pens as a birthday joke, only to watch him become a little horrified at how excited I got.

    Me? I happily hit up Bob Slate Stationer’s in Cambridge at least once a month and drop a $20 or more on a fresh, new set of writing utensils.

    And I’d be damn pissed if anyone took them from me!!!!!

  5. Ari

    I have a thing for pens (and Sharpie Ultra Fine markers) too. Have you tried the Sharpie pens?! They’re the best of both worlds. I’m in love. And they come in colors!

  6. I form attachments to particular pens for a while and then put them down somewhere at work. I never find them again and I always feel a little cheated. It takes time to develop a bond with a new one. Reading that back, I think I sound a little strange.

  7. Oh my god, I completely relate to this entry. I am OBSESSED with having the “right” pen for a particular task (and the “right’ notebook too, so that just adds to the obsession). Sometimes, I will even debate which is the “proper” pen to use, especially when I’m color coding stuff.
    Luckily, I am in charge of ordering office supplies, so I am constantly ordering multi colored uniball pens.

  8. I just started using sharpie pens and had I allowed myself to buy colours they would be taking over my life, I’m sure of it lol

  9. My handwriting suffers due to an old car accident and I cannot use ballpoint pens very well for some reason. I need something like a felt tip pen to write well. I have ONE felt tip pen that if I ever lose it I will cry over. So I totally understand.

  10. Count me as guilty of complaining about first world problems as well…including pens. I am not about to even deny that I am a stickler when it comes to pens.

  11. Liz

    I completely agree!! I have all types of pens, but they MUST write smoothly and be pretty! 😀 I have to say that the sharpie pens are becoming my favorites…too bad they’re just black and blue right now. I seriously have about two or three art boxes of pens and markers that I’ve collected….I think I’m gonna go get creative now…. 🙂

  12. I have two obsessions.

    1.) It is difficult for me to resist buying black Micron pens at an art store (08 width). Even if I have a few at home and they aren’t out of ink, I just…want…to…have…a…new…one.

    2.) My official writing pen is the Papermate Flexigrip Ultra med in black. Ballpoint. Light. Easy to grip. Good.

  13. wordsofwinsome

    The detective in me is it was one of your kids…. probably a girl who can’t afford her own pack and the temptation took over. Colorful, fun, free-flowing pens are hard to pass up… esp. if Miss. E has them!!

  14. I kind of love ballpoint pens, but other than that I’m with you. I get attached to certain pens. I used to work at a hotel company and I LOVE LOVE LOVE their stupid 25 cent pens. Three and a half years after I quit that job, I still go back to the hotel to sneak a new stash from the lobby whenever my old ones run out of ink.

  15. you’ve got great handwriting, btw. another totally obsessed pen person. believe it or not, i’m the same way with coffee mugs, too. it has to be a particular one or i will not drink out of it. to say i drive mark crazy is an understatement. here’s to pen fetishes and watching the ink dry!


  16. I’ve got a thing for pens and paper too. Set me loose in a stationary store and watch me pee my pants with excitement. I’ve got a special place in my heart for Waterman fountain pens. It can be an expensive little luxury…

  17. Yep. Story of my crazy life.

    I cannot recommend the Sharpie pens enough. They are perfect. I know you just spent $10 on pens, but trust me on this one. They’re going to change your life.

  18. I’ll sit and cry with you over the loss of your pens. Believe me, I’ve been there before and had the whole color coded day planner to go with it.

    What’s worse is when you run out of ink and go back to buy them again…and they no longer stock/make them.

  19. Juley Robarge Woods

    I am obsessed with BOLD ink in colors. Super hard to find, unless you use a felt tip pen…of course I adore sharpie’s extra fine (because they actually are like a bold regular pen) but I am not a fan of the new sharpie pens, because they are wimpy. Plus, I prefer to make everyone around me high while at work! They are easier to deal with! Right now, I am obsessed with Maxum Gel pens by Staedtler. Also a huge fan of their Triplus pens (similar to Sharpie pens, but better color selection)
    WOW…I am so glad others love pens too!
    And the best moment is when I get to throw one away!!!

  20. Dude I have a marker box that John is afraid to touch. Also he is not allowed to touch my cup of Sharpies.

  21. Katy

    HA! Seeing the multitude of comments in response to your pen blog, apparently you aren’t the only one with a pen obsession.

    At the office I work at, I used to be the receptionist, and therefore, in charge of ordering all office supplies. Even though I always made sure there were plenty of pens in the supply cabinet, nearly everyone in the office would always slip me their own personal “request”. People are picky-pen persons!!

    Now that I’m not the receptionist anymore, I do the same thing. Long live Pentel EnerGel Pens!

  22. Amy! I died when I read this post because you and I are so very clearly the EXACT SAME PERSON. Perhaps the teacher in us demands this love of pens, I don’t know, but I have an unhealthy obsession with them as well. Our family calendar is filled out completely in multi-colored sharpie and Tim fills my Christmas stocking every year with my favorite pens. I’ll admit – I’ve even caught myself wishing the boys were older and involved in school and other activities just so that I can color-code the calendar by person. It’s a sickness, really. But it’s one that we share 🙂

  23. verybadcat

    Personally, I support capital punishment for pen thievery. It’s only fair.

  24. Pingback: Seriously?! « Just A Titch

  25. i have pens i would make out with.

    just sayin’.

    RSVPs and Zebras are my absolute fave. I have gotten my boss and my bff both addicted to the Zebra pens. they are amazing and they never run out of ink. it’s just bliss. i wish they came in more colors.

    for colored pens i really enjoy the “gelly roll” pens. amazing. the pink is my favorite. : )

    also, i think i might color coordinate my day planner next year. : )

  26. Pingback: Can’t Live Without « Just A Titch

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