While writing the Hands-On for the Waterman Carene I began to tell the story of how my wife acquired it. Well, the story went on a little longer than I thought it would and felt the Hands-On wasn’t the right place for it. So I’m posting it here in all its glory.
In February my wife and I made the trip to LA for the pen show and to visit Eric. It was my second show and my wife’s first, although half the time she was out shopping or sight seeing or enjoying the sun at the beach. On the last day of the show we were walking around looking over things again when my wife spotted a very purple pen. It was like a magnet that just drew her in. She picked it up, oooh-ing and awww-ing, mentioned how pretty it was but after a few minutes set it back down and moved on.
For the next 15 minutes as we looked at other tables and more pens all she was talking about was that purple Waterman. So we made our way back to the table where it was located and as she uncapped it she asked the gentleman behind the table, “How much?”
He replied, “Umm, how about fifty dollars?”
My wife looked to me for approval and I just shrugged because I didn’t know exactly what it was and neither did the seller. He had mentioned the pen came in a lot that he had purchased and he was just selling what he didn’t want. I mentioned we should wait and look it up to see what it was worth, to make sure we weren’t getting ripped off. After several minutes of waiting on the shoddy internet the most we were able to find was that it looked an awful lot like a $275 Waterman Carene! But why would this guy be selling a $275 dollar pen for only 50 bucks?
At this point, my wife was getting a little antsy and said “I don’t care what it is. I really like it and I want it. I’m going back to buy it!” When we got back to the table my wife asked the gentleman, “Fifty dollars, right?”. When he said yes the lady sitting next to him nearly spit her water all over him and proclaimed “That’s a $250 pen!”, confirming our suspicion that it was indeed the Carene. The man responded saying earlier he told her $50 and he’d honor that.
Without hesitation I handed over the cash and my wife was so happy she actually had tears in her eyes and went behind the table to give the man a hug and thank him for the incredible deal. When we finally made our way back to Eric and told him the story he declared it the deal of the weekend! I was excited to tell people about the amazing deal while my wife just wanted to show off the awesome pen she just got.
Looking back on the situation, I should have just bought the pen the first time we returned to the table instead of worrying about whether or not we were getting any kind of a deal. My wife, being fairly new to the whole fountain pen thing, didn’t care who made the pen. She wasn’t influenced by brand or status or public opinion. The only thing that mattered was that she loved the color and the design. It’s somewhat of a refreshing idea to view purchasing a pen from such a simple perspective.