I used to spend my birthday money on clothes. It just seemed like the thing to do. Go out, do a little shopping, buy a few new things. But, a few years ago, I realized that those clothes just got lost in the rotation of articles pulled from my closet when I needed something to wear. I didn’t remember what I got for my birthday or what I bought when I needed or wanted something. My birthday money wasn’t being spent on something that was truly special and I didn’t like that. It felt wasteful.
So, a few years ago, I decided to pool all of my birthday money together and buy something memorable. I bought my 1800’s ironstone cake stand…
Even as I was bidding on it on eBay, I was nervous; literally biting my nails. I kept waffling and debating with myself. I shouldn’t spend this much money on a cake stand…but I love ironstone and I’ve wanted one of these for years…these things are ridiculously expensive and I am participating in driving up the price in this auction…I should stop bidding…
Jeff could see my angst and stepped in. “Is there anything else you’d rather spend your birthday money on?”
“No. I want this more than clothes or whatever else I would buy.”
“Okay, then. You have the money, so let’s win this thing.” He took over the bidding while I hovered over his shoulder and we won the cake stand.
And I have not regretted that purchase once. Every time I look at it or think of it or use it to serve a cake or anything else, I’m glad I bought it with my birthday money.
Since then, I’ve purposed to use my birthday money on something special, memorable, and that I might not normally buy. My birthday money can be spent on something that feels frivolous or expensive. All arguments about practicality and sensibility are off limits when birthday money is the currency.
And, surprisingly, instead of feeling wasteful, I feel like my birthday money matters more. Instead of buying a bunch of little things, I buy one special thing that I will, more than likely, love and remember for a long time.
This year, I didn’t know what I wanted to buy. Sure, I can always find something, but I hadn’t settled the thing. So, I just saved the money and waited.
I finally realized that what I would like to buy is a nice fountain pen. I’ve been thinking about getting one for a while, but I could not believe what a nice fountain pen actually cost and they were way outside of my birthday money budget and way beyond what I would even be comfortable spending! So, I started doing some research to find a nice, but not a ridiculously nice fountain pen. The search led me to the Caran d’Ache Palladium-Coated Ecridor Retro Fountain Pen. And that was it. My birthday splurge.
I ended up finding the best price on Walmart’s website (of all places!) The list price of the pen on the Caran d’Ache website was $295, but it was $147.50 at Walmart. I wanted the fine nib, though, so I ordered that from The Pen Company. And, to fully “move into” the pen and make it my own, I swapped out the blue ink for black.
Well, and it does have a spot for engraved initials, so I’m going to look for a place locally to have it engraved.
It is a beautiful pen and writing with it is a joy! Those who love writing and creative supplies will understand.
Isn’t that the most beautiful nib?
I like that it doesn’t look like a corporate pen. Do you know what I mean? This isn’t a pen to sign contracts but to write letters and stories. It’s an instrument of creativity, not of work.
And it is just the perfect thing for my 41st birthday.