Part of what makes the hobby of collecting fountain pens so awesome is the community. I quickly found that this community was different from others. I didn't see backstabbing or malicious intent. Instead I found helpfulness, joy, love, and other such attractive attributes. Often pen blogs can be about the pens (not always); without the community, though, vintage pens would be in garbage dumps and modern pens would be as rare as, well, diamond rings or something (I couldn't think of anything else). But no we have this awesome community of people, that not only supports the business, but even more importantly supports each other.
So to start of this series, I enlisted my friend, Kata. I met Kata (as I did many of my fountain pen friends) on Instagram. We soon became pen pals, and one day, I haven't told her, this, I plan on visiting cold Canada to hang with the Canadian fountain pen peeps. About four months ago, her and a few other fountain pen friends were posting pictures en masse of a wedding of a fellow pen lover. So I got her to talk about it.
I don’t consider myself new to the fountain pen community. I’ve been around for a while, but here’s the thing – I’ve never been to a pen store or a pen show. At least, not until a few months ago.
Until I found forums like FP Geeks and the #fountainpen Instagram community (an idea of what that looks like, FK), I was wandering through this hobby with very few folks, mostly pen-pals, to write about my passions with. And then I found these wonderful online communities filled with so many amazing and supportive people, a lot of who I am happy to now call true friends.
Through FP Geeks I not only found a local pen group of folks who meet every Saturday morning over coffee and breakfast to discuss and share pens, but I’ve met a handful of new pen-pals, some on the other side of the world, but others just two hours down the road from me. I wouldn’t have met these great folks without fountain pens OR technology.
My friendship with Gerald began on Instagram. We both posted a lot using the #fountainpens hash tag and started following each other and then we started exchanging letters. He was only a few hours from me, but we both shared a passion for writing and pens. We’d write about our lives, but also about our fountain pens – our favourite pens, inks and paper. After a short while, he wrote about his engagement to his partner Katie. After that, while wedding planning was taking place, I was asked if I’d be able to make the trip to attend their wedding. Absolutely, I said! I was honoured to be invited!
The wedding was set for November 22. It just so happened that there was a PEN SHOW scheduled in Toronto just three weeks prior to the wedding. I was excited – more about meeting these fantastic people than the pens to be honest. I met three penpals and countless numbers of “fountain pen people” from forums and social media. I had a wonderful time! I me Gerald and his fiancé, a small group of us went out for dinner together.
Three weeks later, I was traveling back to Toronto for their wedding. A few other pen people were invited in addition, some who I met at the pen show but one couple traveling all the way from Florida to attend the wedding! I had actually just started writing her a few months prior to that, so we got to meet and hang out before the reception. We were all seated at the same table, of course, Table Five. The “Fountain Pen Table”, we dubbed ourselves. There was a lot of bonding and pen sharing going around the table that night. Some of us had met before and others hadn’t, but we all shared the passion for one thing – fountain pens – and it brought us all together.
It was an honour to attend the wedding of my friend, to be a part of their special day. In this digital age, it is easier to find others who share the same passions you do, but we bond through letter writing. We are friends, even if we have not met, and that is a beautiful thing.