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It’s the first time in years of fidelity that I’ve strayed and cheated. On my techpens, that is.

I decided to use “sign pens” or technical drawing pens for writing and casual sketching when I was 10 years old. It was just a sudden realization, after seeing that my handwriting was somehow better and neater, and my drawings more precise and vivid when I use fine-point pens with super dark black ink.

This practice was even more solidified when I entered university to study Architecture–why bother using ordinary pens when I can use my technical drawing pens for note-taking as well? (N.B. I now know that what I did then was quite an expensive and time-consuming practice, but strangely enough, I did enjoy the “ritual” of taking apart, cleaning and refilling my tech pens back then).

Of course there are times when I have to resort to using ordinary ballpoint pens for writing and sketching, but somehow the results just weren’t the same and I’ve never felt the need nor the want to buy myself a “proper” pen even as I entered the workforce.

All of that changed when my friend N gifted me with a lovely gold-and-silver Parker pen engraved with my nickname for my birthday last June. I promised to her that I will toss out all the cheapo ballpoint pens that rattle unused in my cavernous handbag in favor of this very thoughtful offering. Three months later, it still has a very special place in my handbag’s front pocket, where I often take it out to write notes on sites or in the office. Sometimes, I just hold it in my hand during meetings or even use it as a tool for pointing when doing presentations.

I still prefer to sketch and write long notes with my technical pen, but I’ve to say I’m very thankful that I’ve gotten over my aversion of using ballpoint pens with the help of this sleek baby. Sometimes, form really does help in selling the function.

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