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Containment

Posted by Dirck on 27 July, 2009

One of the great keys to happiness, I’ve discovered, is to not let your expectations run away with you. Your imagination can always suggest a much better event than reality can produce. Lowered expectations can allow for more enjoyment upon fulfillment– heck, even some Roland Emmerich films can work out for you.

This weekend I found myself at a garage sale. I generally try to stick my head in at likely looking ones (that is, not a pile of kid’s toys in clear sight), as there’s occasionally some fountain pen gold to be had. The Duofold senior I was using last week was bought at a garage sale for a ridiculously low price. A Waterman C/F and matching pencil I got a couple of years back for $5. It can happen.

At this particular event, in a far and indistinct corner, I found a bottle of Skrip in the original early ’70s box and three-quarters full. Seeing nothing else of interest, I took it to one of the householders and say, “I don’t suppose you’ve got the pen this went in?”

He made a face of dismay– his daughter had apparently cried dibs on the pen and a similar bottle, and it turned out that she’d taken in the empty rather than the full. After a moment, he said I might have a look at the pen, as the daughter probably wouldn’t mind if it was going to a collector.

There is a moral element to this story now– if it’s something nice, to I yank it out from under the unseen daughter? Atop this consideration, my imagination offers all sorts of pennish confections– an interbellum Waterman with gold overlay? A “51” Flighter? A functional Dunn Camel?

Contain yourself, excitement! Wait and see!

It’s a good thing I did that, too. The object in question was a dip pen, with a somewhat distorted Speedball point. I thanked the chap for his efforts, apologized for putting him to them so fruitlessly (I blame society for fostering the confusion of dip and fountain pen, not the individual), and departed empty handed.

So, the value of suppressed expectations is proven once again. I might have spent the day in a funk if I’d gotten my hopes up. As it was, I was out in the summer air, I saw a dragonfly, I didn’t provide a source of father/daughter conflict and I lived to see the next day. What more could one ask?

Today’s pen: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink: Lamy blue-black

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