I have this thing about pens. If I weren't a midwife or a writer or a photographer, I'd own a stationery store that sold pens and paper and maybe cards.
I only use Uni-Balls and have only used Uni-Balls for as long as I can remember (high school?) For years and years, I only used the basic Roller Pen, black, of course, especially because of charting. I know many people don't like them because they can smudge or can smear when wet, but I know the Roller Ball's personality and am careful with her. I keep at least half a dozen pens in my purse and carry-alls with me at any given time, pens on the center console (Boo holds them), pens all over the house and office and everywhere you can imagine a pen could hide - I have them hidden. Long before computers, I wrote with my hand and I wrote with Roller Balls and notebooks.
I still keep notebooks in my purse and carry-alls, too (I'll show you if you ever come across me), a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, depending on my mood and how thick I want to carry at the moment. I'm carrying two right now - a bigger and a smaller one. I haven't written in either one, but they are both ready in case I want to.
And I have a LOT of pens in my purse and carry-all in case I need to write, too. Last count was about 38 of them. Somewhere around there.
Over the last couple of years, I have been branching out and have tried a few other Uni-Balls. I like the Roller Grip and used that for awhile.
I was at a client's house a couple of weeks ago and left my purse outside (where I easily had about 25 Uni-Balls inside - no exaggeration) and her husband gave me a Uni-Ball I had never used before. I fell in love immediately! I tried to memorize the name - should have written it down. Instead, I stole the pen from him. I coveted the pen through several days, made note to order it from Quill and then we had those two back to back long labors where I gladly charted using the beloved new pen. I held it aloft on a silk pillow when not in use, I loved it so much.
Then, in my exhausted haze, as I stumbled out the door of Client #2's home that morning, I left The Pen. When I was driving the 90 miles back the next day, the apprentice and I reminded each other to look for it, actually, I mentioned it several times, but the dad waylaid us with decompressing and by the time we were putting our supplies away, we'd forgotten about The Pen again. On day 3 postpartum, The Pen was but a memory in that house (but not to me) and dad offered to "look around," but said he also only used Uni-Balls, so couldn't guarantee anything if he liked it himself.
I went to Office Depot to try and find the thing myself. I held pen after pen, loving each one, thinking, "Are you she?" Confused more and more, wanting to buy them all and thinking, "I only have $6 in my wallet. What am I going to buy these with?" I ended up using the office credit card to buy a 12 pack of Gel Grips and liked them lots. They even have water-resistant ink! But, alas, my apprentice said they were not The One my client had "donated" to me that day that now seemed oh so long ago. I also bought a 4-pack of the Power-Tank because it said it was pretty hefty in the wet surfaces department. We're going to put those in the prenatal bag specifically for births.
Dejected about The Pen, my apprentice and I flipped through the Quill catalogue, guessing, over and over which pen it was. Did it look like this? Could it have been that one? Was it a gel pen? A roller? I knew it wasn't ballpoint.
Really disliking ballpoints lots, I took a stab at trying one that said it would be kind of like a rollerball. We bought 2 dozen Jetstreams. I like it well enough, but it still isn't The Pen. Now that I have about 849 new pens, I think I have ruled out all the pens it wasn't and think I know the pen it was.
I believe The Pen was the Vision Elite. I am going to go buy some today at Staples (I forgot I have a free coupon!) when they open in a few hours. I can hardly wait. (Am I a sick puppy or what? I can see my apprentice laughing her ass off as she reads this!)
I have met enough other pen whores to know I am not alone and am not sure why I felt compelled to write an entire blog spot about my pen fetish, but it seemed appropriate at the moment.
What quirky things do YOU insist on having for your midwifery practice? What won't you compromise on? What will you own 1000 of and continue to buy more of even though there is no chance in hell you will ever run out? Do you carry a slew of Records Releases like I do? Intrapartum Chart Notes? Napkins?
Why do I hoard? It isn't like I grew up in the Depression or anything, either. It's all tied to the food thing, I just know it. There's never enough.
Gotta have plenty of Venezuelan chocolate and Uni-Ball pens. Just gotta.