Where do all my pens go?

I mean really? I know my husband does not pack off with them, because he likes super fat pens and has two or three which he keeps tucked away neatly at all times. On may occasions, he has grumbled about how I waste so much money buying cheap pens (let’s be honest–the ink in them is often only filled a third of the way, and half of it seems to be dry by the time the pen is sold anyway) and has commented that I should buy a single *nice* pen.  I do like nice pens better. They aren’t little sticks which dig into my fingers after thirty or forty minutes, nor are they so gigantic that my hand cramps. However, there is one solid reason why I do not buy a pen which I can buy new cartridges for, a reason my husband actually agrees with:

I lose so many pens, it is better for me to lose the cheapies.

Where do they go? I honestly don’t know. I’ve been asking myself this for over a decade. I’ve tried corralling them in jars in every room. I’ve tried stashing them in their own compartment of my purse, in bags, and in designated pen-putting-down-zones. And they run away. They’re like feral cats you buy food for. They come, chill out a while, and right as you have some time invested–bam, gone. The ones which do stick around don’t write. I cling onto them in the hopes that the next time I pick it up, the ink will magically start to flow. Usually, nope, nada. But sometimes, sometimes you get about four or five lines, and those few lines are brilliant if only because all the other pens are playing keep-away in the bushes.

Guess what? When we were packing up to move, there were pens all over the place. Not just one here, one there. No. More like fifteen bound together by a hair tie, twenty in a jar, and two or three baggies just filled to bursting–and then another jar of pens. Where were these when I needed them?

I used to be able to blame the cat. She really did used to find stray pens on a flat surface (coffee table, desk, dining room table, on the bed, wherever) and play with them until she knocked them behind the furniture, down an air vent, or pretty much any place inaccessible without considerable effort. You’re probably going to think I’m a little nuts for this second theory about why the uncorralled pens disappeared–the ghost cat must have played with them, too. See, we lived in an old farmhouse that saw a lot of families come and go. We inhabited the ground floor, but there was also a cellar and upper story. Now, I first saw the ghost cat one night when I woke up to go to the bathroom, and the cat followed me in, so I called it over and went to pet her–but nothing there. Turns out our cat had been out mousing all night long and was very eager to get inside when I woke up a few hours later. My mother thought I was really crazy when I told her. Or that the ghost cat was demonic or something. She sort of dismissed me. Then my in-laws came for a Thanksgiving visit and stayed upstairs. The next morning, they commented that our cat must be very good with doors, because theirs was closed and she was playing with my mother-in-law’s jewellery all over the floor and playing with the zippers and whatnot. My husband then informed them that our cat had not come inside last night. I was very full of “I told you so”s. We had a virtually identical thing happen with some friends who visited several months later. Was the ghost cat only active when our cat wasn’t inside? Or did we just blame any extra noise on our very living cat? Hard to say. But I’m quite sure if a living cat would love my pens, so would our ghost cat.

But right now, we not only don’t have pets, but we also have very little “stuff” to clutter the place up and make for an easy hideout for pens. I know I threw two or three away, but I ought to have more than three other pens hiding out in the bedroom and living room. Thus, I have a new theory: Zombie-Mode. When I’m too tired to really function, but I’m still physically up and moving around. I must do something with them then. That or we have another ghost. I doubt it. So for now, I’m going with my Zombie-Mode theory, but it doesn’t make as good of a story.

On a related note: it is time for me to find another pen or two…

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