Let Me Pencil You In is a frequent expression I’ll use. I’ve iterated this over and over in the horoscopes, but I’ll bounce it one more time, “Let me pencil you in…”
The term harkens back to an era when I used a datebook, usually a month-view planner thing. I could easily schedule up to three clients on any school day. The little, one-inch square window on the calendar, day-planner page only left enough room for a few items. Names and times, plus assignments due.
Over the years, and I was reluctant at first to adopt the electronic datebook, but over the ensuing years, I’ve gradually made my way into the post-modern era with our electronic calendars that keep all our appointments, stacked up like cord-wood.
My electronic secretary isn’t sexy like the old receptionist, but the electronic secretary follows instructions much better.
The term “Pencil you in” means that the appointment isn’t set in stone, but can accommodate being erased and moved. Which, in turn, means that it isn’t going to change, because it was penciled in.
One of the first doctors I saw after I arrived in San Antonio, his receptionist used a pencil and a paper calendar, to keep track of his office’s appointments. Weird, in this day and age. He’s retired, now. So is my paper datebook, but still, I like the term, as it implies permanence with no permanence.
If I pencil it in, then it happens on time. If I use a pen? I’ll have to change it.
“I’ll pencil you in.”