The Demise of the Department Store

The Demise of the Department Store

Today I set myself a task.  I love writing, although my blogs and lack lustre efforts could make you wonder, but behind the scenes, my life is full of ideas shared on paper.

I've loved writing for years, it's one of the things that I feel helps take thoughts and bring them to life and often I feel the physical part of writing is more significant in results than the keyboard.

That's just my thoughts and often, I'll get even pickier when it comes to writing - a bit OCD behaviour, who knows but I have instruments for writing my thoughts and I call on them from time to time to help bring ideas out.

I have pencils ranging from .05 mm through to 1mm, pens which were give aways which have become 'acceptable use' and some favourites which have lovely grips that make me feel in charge as I write, through to the computer pens - the Livescribes which capture thoughts through clever infrared and then ingeniously take my writings and scribbles, and extrapolate into words which, still to this day amaze me as my writing is not very clear, and the more I think about it, when writing, the more silly little mistakes happen.  I'm convinced gremlins live in my head because I'm darned if I can stop it happening.

But I love my fountain pens.  Yes, LOVE to write with my fountain pens.  Particularly the medium nibs, that, when I close my eyes and think about them, amaze me in their creation of taking my ideas and in the most exquisite manner, they just glide across the paper.

I think the wonderful art of writing has faded.  We don't write letters like we used to, we don't really write as much, leaving thoughts to be clackety clacked out on a keyboard.  Digital thoughts, memories made through clicking away and using a method of putting words together in a most unusual way truth be known.

Sometimes I think writing, the physical form of the action of moving the hand across a blank piece of paper, and then leaving behind something from the mind, really is truly something we take for granted, yet the written word, like music, can make a lasting impression.  

I have a few fountain pens, but not overly expensive.  Although my husband did drop his jaw somewhat when I told him I had spent a whopping $150.00 on a pen.. when he knows full well my ability to keep these things from getting lost.  I've put things down and gotten side-tracked, forgotten about them, and found them months later, and been as delighted as if I had just bought it from new.  

So, I've never let myself indulge on the absolutely gorgeous pens I've seen online.  For me to have such a pen would most likely be a waste because it's very possible, no matter how I think I'd look after it, it would end up sitting somewhere safe for me to discover, but if I'd spent $4,800 on such pen, that pleasure in finding would be replaced with anxiety from losing.   It's like me thinking 'one day I'll be a better housekeeper' but that's not going to happen any time soon.

Last week I had that experience of finding my pens, three of them in fact, and wanted to get them all fixed up and ready to use again. I've been writing with the ball point pens but it's not the same!  

So with my pens, ink refills and ink bottles, I went about getting my mojo back into my pens but was left with frustration because why I had stopped using them came back to me.. Nothing fits.

That's right, nothing fits.. and for some reason, I have a Parker Fountain pen box for my beautiful Sonnet Parker Pen and refills, a Sheaffer fountain pen with no insides and no refills, and a Waterman fountain pen, with a bent nib, refillable inside and no cartridges.

No matter how I tried, I could not get anything to work.  The ink refill cartridge for the Waterman was not going to fit into the Sheaffer, and the nibs of the pens were not interchangeable, and the Parker fountain pen is nowhere in sight.

Back to where I bought the pen from in the first place.. Myer!!  I was disappointed with my visit to Myers today to see if I could get some refills. 

Their display which once was full of beautiful pens, a grand display stocked by the fountain pen suppliers has reached the end of its life cycle I'm afraid to say because they were unable to find a single thing for me, although they sell all pens, the pen company doesn't send them refills.

I can see why department stores are now rapidly becoming showcases. 

They tease you with brochures and promises of great stuff! You then fight the traffic, get a park, trapes from one side of the shopping centre to another, to end up in the store, where the registers outnumber the staff 2 to 1.  You then patiently wait for the person selling kitchen appliances to finish the call, and then look for keys to go over to the counter where you're waiting.  

In the background the phone rings and rings and rings, but there is no one to answer, and while the staff are apologising and looking through the pen accessories, another customer has moved from the kitchen register, with their sheet sets, wanting advice on sizes... to be told.... 'I can't look at this register, I'll have to check the iPad when I've finished here'... which is then followed by the customer saying - I'll check online if king size is available to discover that her product is available.. But only online.

So we both walked out empty handed.

Yep, I'm looking online for my pens and accessories.  And I bet that customer who was enquiring about the sheet set being available in king size probably did one of two things - bought from somewhere else, or bought online.

I can’t fault the staff.. But when I get these expensive brochures in the mail sent by Myers, they will have lost some of their gloss.

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