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Self-Gratification

Posted by Dirck on 4 February, 2013

I will admit that I take a certain amount of joy from inventing entry headings that will mislead and disappoint some of the seedier Google-users.  In this instance, it is entirely true without also being a sordid euphemism.   What follows is something that can be shared with children, although they’re apt to fidget and look longingly towards the door.

Some months ago, I set myself up a payroll deduction of sorts.  I hadn’t done the math properly, as it came to sufficient maturity within days of Christmas and the temptations to pay festive bills.  I inverted virtue slightly, and thwarted temptation with greed and selfishness to apply the gathered funds to that which it was intended.  Thus, a few weeks later, I get to gratify myself in this particular:

You can tell it’s classy; it’s wearing pin-stripes.

Isn’t that nice?  The stereotypic Pelikan fountain pen, fresh from the hatchery!  I bought myself an M600, on the grounds that it would take rather fewer months to scrape together the funds and that extra money probably wouldn’t have resulted in any serious improvement in performance and thus enjoyment.

I hope that’s the case, too, because now that I’ve had a weekend to mess around with this pen, I think if enjoyment is in any kind of linear progression with cost, with an M800 I’d waste away to nothing, pausing in my scribbling only to refill the pen and attending not at all to my own health or safety.  With my other expensive moderns, the Sheaffer Legacy and the Waterman Carène, I’ve gotten something of a sense of extra money and effort going into them, some manifestation of increased craftsmanship over less elevated models in the makers’ catalogues.  However, the difference between, let me say, the Carène and the Hémisphère is almost invisible when compared to that between this new treat and a Future.

I also find to my glee that I’m not at all jaded on the topic of really nice writing properties.  This is an astonishingly smooth pen, although it has rather less spring to it than my previous experience with a gold-pointed modern Pelikan.  I’m not alone in this estimation, as I let various (adult) family members try it, to universal gasps of astonishment.  At some point on Saturday, I actually found myself seriously wondering if I hadn’t stumbled across The Pen, a sudden and unexpected capstone to the pyramid of pens I’ve constructed over the years.  Might I cry out, in my pretentious way, “Nimis!  Satis!” and retire from pen purchasing forevermore?  I’ve joked about this at various points in the past, and I’m pretty sure I’ve even seriously mooted the possibility in some past entry I can’t search up in the time available, and I now find that it is a real possibility.  Like a philanderer suddenly finding a mate of such sterling qualities that fidelity suddenly becomes attractive, I have to entertain the possibility that I’m looking at the end of a road I thought went ever onward.

…but another 36 hours has begun to cure me of that notion.  Unlike that philanderer, my relationships have resulted in a harem rather than a series of distinct episodes.  I was just yesterday dallying with a Waterman 52 for its writing qualities.  There is a small unquenched spark of curiosity regarding Pilot’s new Metropolitan.  It is more of a breather, then, rather than a completion.  The retasking of the payroll deduction, from pen to a vacation in the misty future, doesn’t come with the abolition of my wish list.  But it will be a long time, I think, before I entertain the desire for a high(ish) end modern pen.  They’re apt to disappoint in comparison.

There is a down-side to this development, too.  I am now free to mount a page for Pelikan Souveräns on my site, but there’s going to be a certain amount of mental gymnastics required to get that page to fruition.  There’s a ton of variants, and I’m having a little trouble formatting it; eventually, I’ll win, since I got to sufficient grips with some of Sheaffer’s more diverse offspring, but it will be a while before I get there.

Today’s pen: Pelikan Souverän M600 (just scroll up)
Today’s ink: Pelikan 4001 blue-black

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10 Responses to “Self-Gratification”

  1. MAZEL TOV!!!! Isn’t that M600 a beauty? I think it’s still my favorite pen of all the ones I have. I have a bunch of Pellies, but the M600 is my favorite. She (I feel like she’s a girl) and I just have the perfect synergy somehow. Just the right amount of spring (I don’t like them too springy), just the right balance and heft, and with a stub nib, she writes gorgeous lines. I think she might be The One for me as well.

    • It is indeed an admirable balancing of the elements of pen-ness. It’s going to be might hard to set aside for the purposes of rotation at week’s end.

      …stub, eh? Hmmm….

      • I know this feeling well. I hate playing favorites with my pens and I rotate as well, but sometimes there’s just one that’s a little more special than the others.

        I have all my nibs stubbed—if I don’t buy them with stubs, I get them done. My nibmeister is always so happy when I buy a new pen.

      • One of the factors in chosing the M600 over others was it lay right in the middle of the point-unit interchangeability graph; my vague plans for this pen pre-purchase included getting at some point a really cheap steel BB to stub. The M is pretty chubby without any modifications, and those vague plans are becoming a little more firm.

  2. Maja said

    I tried a friend’s M600 and it’s a great size when posted. I have an M800 but it’s too large to use posted, so I’ve been toying with buying a M600 (in blue stripes) myself. My only problem is that I find it hard to save for one big pen-related purchase. So, congratulations on acquiring this lovely pen…. and for having the self-discipline to save up for it!

    • The trick: ING direct (even if it is now owned by non-Dutch interests), tiny automatic contributions fortnightly, and pretending the pen in question doesn’t exist for weeks at a time. There were a few moments in the latter part of the exercise when I realized that I could, RIGHT NOW, get something very nearly as exciting, but the Fred Flintstone treatment (one medical grade bowling ball applied over a fifteen centimeter drop to the intersection of the coronal and sagittal sutures) put me back on the right path, and only once did I spend any time thinking I was Anne Heche.

  3. Hehe I chuckled when I read your first paragraph. Lovely pen here. I have the M1005 demonstrator but have my heart set on the M400 or M600 white tortoise, and now I really really like this one you have here! I don’t stand a chance.

    • A client’s tortoise M400 arrived just after my 600– if I were to say anything against it, it would be that the mechanism, which is also white, is very visible in the barrel (can one praise with faint damnation?). If not for a long-standing prejudice in favour of the green stripe which I can justify only with “the heart has reasons the head knows not”, I might well have gone for the tortoise/white.

  4. […] much of my life pining for a nice stripey broad-billed pen.  While I scratched that primary itch just over a year ago, they continue to fascinate me, in part because I’m trying to fathom why I can remember being […]

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