Writer’s (pr0n)

I started out to work on this idea few weeks ago. Got sidetracked. It happens. But it’s bothered me for a while, and the company in question? I’ve thrown away their catalogs, three times now, and a fourth just arrived. That catalog is sitting on top of a stack of New Yorker magazines in varying stages of being read, beside a seat in the smallest room in the house.

The company that keeps sending me a catalog, that’s the fourth catalog in, I think, less than two months. That’s aggressive advertising. The company sells blank books, office products, tools for readers, leather folios, fancy purses and briefcases, and more blank papers. I have, it was a gift many years ago, one of their “snail ink wells,” a delicate reproduction of a 16th Century desktop ink well that rotated forward for use, then back to a locked, upright position to keep the ink from drying out.

I used it for a while, and the item has sentimental value, goes back to a birthday in California, a gift from Pa Wetzel, and I did, for a while, use labor-intensive pen and ink for some projects. But quill and ink is messy, at best, and my handwriting sucks. That’s on a good day. I do like the idea of being an ink-stained wretch, but I think I’ll put that off for another day.

The company that sold that ink well, I must be on their list two or three times over, why else would I keep getting the catalogs? And the catalogs are slightly different. I only counted, maybe, three or four human models in the pages. A casually attired middle-aged model with hair carefully feathered back. I’m guessing he has six-pack abs, but we don’t know, he’s always wearing a sweater.

I’ll bet he’s gay. Too good looking for an average middle-aged man. Clothes fit too well, even in the casual look.

He’ll be reclining, reading an epic tome. Not like the half-trash I tend to read. The leather-bound books practically smell like a saddle shop, the rich animal-skin of the journals look that good. There are wallets, weighted bookmarks, the little brass corner tab bookmarks, stickies, fashionable leather holders for stickies, it’s a real eye-full. Makes me want to start underlining passages in the catalog and spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on useless “writer” crap.

I don’t write by hand. Anyone who’s received a hand-addressed envelope can see the problem. I’ve been using a keyboard for so long, I can’t write by hand. But the catalog is full of such lovely images. Note-taking systems, organization systems, and if I just had one of those tiered notecard holders? I’d be much more organized. I’m sure. Just like the guy in the pictures.

It’s “writer’s pr0n,” more than anything else. It’s attractive eye candy, makes me believe that if I just had one those, then my life would be complete.

What I’ve figured out? I have one partially filled up scrapbook/common place book/idea dump. I’ve had several over the years, and I thought if I just had the right one, Id use it more. I don’t. Except for the one on the desk at home. But it’s got ticket stubs from movies, plays, opera, and, of course, local acts. Very little written material other than dates beside cigar bands.

No, the right book isn’t going to get filled, I just don’t seem to work with pen – or pencil – and paper. Isn’t my medium. So the time I spent looking at that catalog, with its intriguing products for enhanced note-taking, and better reading/writing experiences? It’s all fantasy for me.

It’s not about acquisition. The right toy. The right tool , the right bauble doesn’t make me better. But I’ve gotten to a point where less material is actually more meaningful.

Gift Certificates are available.

In the spirit of giving? Costco, last time I was at a local Costco, they had Apple iTunes cards – on sale. A package of 4, $15 cards for $56. That’s much better.