There is such a thing as a free pen …

This past week I attended my church’s District Conference (no, don’t worry, this isn’t a theology blog, still pens, no need to run, I promise) and at the event were several vendors wanting me to talk to them. The one thing that would get me to stop is if they offered one of two things – books or pens.

Now, this wasn’t the Atlanta Pen Show. Nor was it the Los Angeles Pen Show. In fact, it wasn’t a pen show at all. But they did have pens. And best of all, these pens were FREE. Sure, they aren’t the best pens in the world. I certainly got what I paid for. However, free pens have a purpose.

I always keep one of these freebies in my bag to loan the poor soul who “forgot” their writing instrument (and let’s be honest, they didn’t forget, they are just lazy and expect the rest of the world to pick up the slack for them and provide them a living). Then, if they also “forget” to give it back, I’m not out one of my good pens.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ll be happy to share with someone who will appreciate it. But if all you are going to do is scribble a note on you hand* (You know, I’d give you a post it note as well, I have a few of those in my Field Notes), you don’t need my nice pen. You can use a Bic and be grateful I let you use that since you are using it incorrectly.

So the next time you see that advertising pen and you turn your nose up at it because you say, “I’m too good for that pen”, remember that while you and I might appreciate the good tools of the trade, not everyone shares this wisdom. That makes the freebie the perfect thing to give to this person who isn’t prepared enough to carry a ubiquitous capture device. Every pen or pencil has a purpose. Even the cheap ones.

Next time we’ll talk about why click or retractable pens are the best pens in the world and why I prefer to use them more than any other. Until then, keep writing!

(P.S. – although I do grab free pens for the purpose of giving them to others, I don’t necessarily view everyone who writes on their hand as a plebe. There is a great deal of sarcasm in this post.)

* – Lest you think I’m making this up, a person actually borrowed a fountain pen that was in my pocket, wrote on a glossy business card and then wrote a note on her hand. I almost came unglued.

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