The Elegant Ceremony of a Fountain Pen

This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.

There are moments that call for a bit of formality, even in the most cluttered of desks. I clear a space between pencil shavings and computer cords. I crumble up the paper that has a ring from my coffee mug to make room for my stationery. I sit down and stare at the blank page in anticipation of the upcoming ceremony.

I am talking about, of course, the moment I take out my fountain pen.

Like handmade loafers and heirloom pocket watches, a fountain pen is an accessory for a gent who lives well. There’s a bit of ceremony to the process of using a fountain pen that adds a little more intentionality to the day than, say, pulling the cap of a Bic and scribbling away willy-nilly. There is the ink that needs to be selected (I like a hunter green personally), the barrel that needs screwed back into place. There is a 45-degree-angle of the pen itself, held with military precision to make the perfect curlicue on your signature. Yes, it requires a welcomed pause to the day.

It requires a moment of, dare I say, elegance.

There is a misconception that a fountain pen is only good for the most formal of notes. For cursive writing and signatures on documents. This simply is not true. I use mine for grocery lists, love notes on Post-Its, reminders for vet appointments and haircuts. I don’t let the situations of life dictate when I use my fountain pen. I use it often and belovedly. I quite like the way my name looks written out in the fat, dripping ink of my preferred bold nib (in gold, of course).

They say the next generation will not be witness to such things as paper money and telephones with cords and even polar bears. I would think that the sound of a nib scratching on paper will be gone soon, too. But it is our duty to reverse that, dear Reader. A well-lived life, in my experience, isn’t just good food and wine. I live quite happily with ink-stained fingers, I must admit.

Originally posted as part of the Gents Cafe Newsletter, a bite-sized read about men’s lifestyle to enjoy over a coffee or a nice cocktail. Join now!