Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
One evening as I sat doing homework my Junior year in high school, my mom came into the room with something in her hand. She set it on my desk, and I saw that it was a fountain pen, still in its packaging, along with a couple ink cartridges. I had commented before in passing that I thought fountain pens were pretty cool, but never expected to actually handle one, let alone own one. Mom explained that she had found it among my Grandma Sullivan’s belongings, but Grandma didn’t have any use for it. Thus was I united with my first-ever fountain pen, a rather ugly thing made in West Germany in the 1980s. At first, I used it as a novelty and scattered drops of ink behind me like bread crumbs. Eventually, though, I came to love the feel of writing with a fountain pen, and it became my primary — and, ultimately, sole — writing instrument type. No more ballpoints or rollerballs for me; pencils have their place, but not very often in my writing world. Throughout college I slowly collected fountain pens, purchasing them to mark special occasions: I received one on my and Ian’?s first anniversary at the Columbia Winery; I bought one in Paris during my MQP; we bought one in Boston on a romantic weekend away around Valentine’?s Day in 2006; I received one for Christmas from my grandmother-in-law; I received one for college graduation; and at least a couple others I bought or found. Now I have about eight fountain pens, including one I leave at work for all work-related writing.
Alas, a couple months ago, an auditor at work called me up and told me that GLP regulations require indelible ink on all raw data. My normal fountain pen ink, she said, failed the spit-test. (She really had spit on her finger and rubbed my writing.) I rarely create raw data, thankfully, but that meant I was banned from using my fountain pen for any of several specific purposes. How sad I felt every time I picked up a rollerball pen at work! I mentioned this sorry plight to my resourceful mother, who consulted the staff at the University Bookstore, who immediately pointed her to the remarkable Noodler’s Ink. In short order a bottle of permanent fountain pen ink was winging its way here. I tried it out yesterday, and let me say the experience of writing with truly permanent, archival-quality fountain pen ink is a totally novel one. Noodler’s Ink has saved my fountain pen devotion from faltering on the rocks of government regulation. Hooray!