Friday, 6 March 2015

The Great Pen Dilemma of 2015

Well, I've reached a new low point in my life today. I found myself standing in front of the pen selection in Wilko debating for far too long over whether or not I should buy a particular pack of pens. You see, when I find a pen I like, I tend to stick with it until it is no longer available for purchase (which happens more frequently than I'd like to admit...which...I guess I just did...). But, I also really only like to use pens with blue ink. I'm not really sure why, but that's my deal.

So, here I am. It's a sunny Friday afternoon in Manchester. I'm standing in front of a wall filled with various styles of writing utensils, when I spot them. The Paper Mate InkJoy 100 1.0M. I feel my heart racing, I'm excited - the adrenaline is kicking in. I go in for the grab and realize, that pack of blue pens has a green one in it! PANIC! My options have both narrowed and increased all in the same moment. The 'all blue pen' option isn't there, which means I'm left with two choices: do I buy the mix pack, which includes a few blue, several black, and both a red and green OR do I go solid and commit to a new colour? I know - it's just a pen. But, it's not. I have a connect with my current pen choice. We've been through a semester and a bit together. We've written notes home, and far too many reminder stickie-notes together. And in that moment I'm like:

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After being overwhelmed by the self-inflicted pressure to make a pen choice, without careful consideration of my options, I took a deep breath and decided to look at the nearby stationary store. And folks, this is when my brain broke.

I walked in to the store. The entire staff was dressed as Waldo, of 'Where's Waldo' fame. This has me slightly confused, but I bounce back and focus on the task at hand: finding blue pens. I get to the wall of pens, and there, in the bottom, left, middle-ish is a beautiful, shiny 10 pack of the Paper Mate InkJoy100 1.0M...in blue! The excitement builds once more! I politely ask the sir standing in front of them to move, when I see the price - double that of the first place. DOUBLE! And it's like:

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The world closes in on me. Math is flooding my brain. The consumer in me wants those pens... I need them (well, I kind of do, I only have one left in my stash!). BUT, I'm cheap, and I cannot justify paying the difference. But then I begin to rationalize by thinking why were the other one's cheaper...maybe by paying extra it means that the true cost of those pens is taken into consideration. And then that leads me to conclude that there is NO way that the environmental factors will even remotely be a part of this higher price tag, and that the difference is most likely attributed to buying power...and then I become angry that I can't just buy the freakin' pens, because I'm trying to sort out what the difference in cost is really about, and how much fresh, clean water has been wasted in their production and transportation, or what habitats have been destroyed all so I can have these 10 'magical' pens, or who was working in the plant manufacturing them and under what conditions!!!!

*takes deep breath*





So, I left the store...pen-less. Guilt free. Exhausted.

Happy Full Moon Everyone!

-the Orange Canadian

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