Keep away from me, you pen-stealer!

The way I remember it, I was buying grad school supplies and grabbed a pack of Bic Atlantis pens for no reason at all. Just because they were there, or they were on sale. I honestly don’t put a lot of thought into pen-buying. Or, well, I didn’t used to put a lot of thought into pen buying. The Atlantis has changed all that.

(Now, if that’s wrong, Mike will correct me, I’m sure. But I think I did buy the Atlantis pens for myself.)

What’s so great about the Atlantis? The rubber grip is nice, and when you retract the pen, it doesn’t make a noise. So I could sit in class and click it back and forth (as is my wont) without annoying anyone. And the writing! So smooth! The Atlantis is truly my favorite pen.

The problem is that, somewhere along the line, Mike figured out the greatness of the Atlantis, and he was always trying to steal them from me. The Atlantis turned me into someone who cared so much about her pens that she would hide them from her husband. Just so you don’t think that I’m the epitome of evil, I want you to know that Mike bought Atlantis pens for himself when he started college, so now he tries to hide his from me.

It also turned me into the kind of person who was really hesitant to lend out pens in grad school. I mean, we were in grad school! People should have had their own pens! And not asked to borrow mine! Not my Atlantis pens, anyway! I should have started carrying crap pens to lend out, and keeping the sweet, sweet Atlantis pens for myself.

Yesterday I did a presentation for the library at a local church, but before it was my turn to go up, they passed around a signup sheet for a trip to Mt. Airy (aka Mayberry). As I passed the sheet on, the woman next to me turned and said, “Can I borrow your pen?” I didn’t want to lend it to her, but how could I possibly say no? Besides, she’s going to give it back to me . . . And then I watched in horror as my pen, my favorite pen, got passed along two tables. I watched carefully to make sure no one slipped it into their purse. I watched to make sure no one dropped it and then stepped on it. And then, finally, I watched it come to a final resting place at the front of the room. “How,” I thought, “can I get my pen without looking like I am the pen-stealer here?” I finally decided I didn’t care if I looked like a pen-stealer – I was getting my pen back. So when I went up to make my presentation, I grabbed the pen. And when I was done, I stuck it in my purse so that the lady next to me couldn’t wrench it from me again. I’d like to see her try!

As I watched my pen circulate around the room, I thought maybe I had a problem. But now, now that my pen is back in my possession, I am thinking much clearer. I know that the woman next to me was the one with the problem. She should have brought her own pen, and she never should have presumed to pass my pen around the room. She is the pen-stealer, not me. She’s the problem. I see her at the library from time to time, and now that I know what kind of woman she is, I’m going to keep my pens safely hidden in my purse. When she comes to the desk wanting to “borrow” something to write with, all I will have to offer her is one of those little golf pencils. We’ll see how she likes that!

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