Monday, October 5, 2020

Pens and Oatmeal

 

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has been my guiding motto as a consumer. We kept our Toyota station wagon for some 22 years and 260,000 miles before it finally gave out and I’m one of the three people left that I know that still uses aol.com. My loyalty is simple—it works, I like it, why change? 

 

And so McCann’s 3-minute Oatmeal. It is cut to the perfect size so that I pour boiling water over it in a bowl, let it sit covered while I sit meditation and at the end, we’re both ready. No pots to clean. They carried it at Trader Joe’s, then they stopped. I found it at Whole Foods, then they stopped. I found it (considerably more expensive) at Andronico’s, then they stopped. My last hope was a small Mom & Pop store called Gus’s and at this writing, they still carry it. I buy two or three every time I’m in the neighborhood, stocking up for the inevitable end of McCann’s at Gus’s like preparing for the Apocalypse.

 

Then there’s Niji stylist pens. Been using them for journal writing, school planning book, jotting down ideas in my Memo notebook forever. Just the right darkness and thickness, it has been a reliable companion. I always bought them at my local Sunset Stationary store until of course, they couldn’t afford the rent any more and had to close. Then found them at Blick’s Art Supplies Store until they stopped carrying them. So I found an online source and ordered a box from them until I ran out. Which is now. 

 

So went to order again and was shocked at the price of a box of 12 pens. I called their number and it turns out the company has stopped making them, Buz-Line Co. bought the last boxes and is selling them at the pretty exorbitant price of $78 for a box of 12. Knowing they’re on their deathbed, I decided to buy one final box. 

 

But the Website needed my password and then told me twice it sent me a new one when I clicked “Forgot Your Password?”, but never did. So I found a number to call and gave a (gasp!) human being all the necessary information to order and then he told me the credit card number I gave him was declined. Ever loyal and steadfast, I soldiered on with another card and 45 minutes since beginning the order, it finally went through. Meanwhile, while going through my last 12 pens and vowing to make every word count, looks like I’ll be out there in the pen dating pool once more looking for the perfect mate.

 

I know what you all are thinking. Really? We don’t know if the President is dying or faking, California is still burning, no one trusts the voting process and you’re worried about pens and oatmeal?!! Well, for this short little excursion, it feels nice to be back in the world of tiny, “first-world” problems knowing that the wolves are circling outside, but pretending that this is worthy of my attention. A little palette cleanser of the old normal.

 

But now back to the real work. To what is to be done. With a hearty oatmeal breakfast and pen in hand. 

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