My parents were in town this week to see my show, "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum." On Friday afternoon I met my mother and her cousin, my dear Auntie Ruth, for lunch at Provence Marinaside in Yaletown. When the bill came, the server also brought three comment cards for us to fill in, with branded "Provence Marinaside" pens. A conversation ensued between my mother and aunt as to whether the pens were meant as giveaways.
"Well I'm going to take one," pronounced my mother, admiring the pen as she stuck it in her handbag. "Me too," said Auntie Ruth decisively.
"Really?" I asked incredulously. "You have to take THESE pens? Can neither of you afford to buy yourself a pen?" (They can. Many pens, if they like.)
At that point each them proudly produced multiple (I can't remember how many each, exactly, but more than one) "freebie" pens from various places - a dental supply store, an accountant, a hotel.
"I hate being without a pen. On my last cruise, we were always running out of pens in our cabin," said Auntie Ruth. "So every time we walked by the concierge, we asked for more. We came home with dozens each."
I reminded my mother of the last pen I had to confiscate from her when she whisked it out in public, a bright orange "Tena Absorbent Underwear" branded pen. Why on earth Tena would think advertisements on pens would be appropriate, I don't know, but the clear evidence that they did was right there, on the pen. I think we were in the Bay and Mom whipped it out to sign a credit card receipt.
"But I liked that pen," she said indignantly. "It was black. I like black pens."
At that point, Mom tested her new Provence pen on a napkin.
"Ugh," she said disgustedly. "This pen is blue. Nevermind." The pen was thrown dismissively onto the table.
We moved on to other topics. The bill came, and was signed, and we got ready to go. At that point, I nonchalantly threw one of the pens into my briefcase, to much giggling from my mother and aunt.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I say. At least I know what to get them each for Christmas. I wonder if PaperMate delivers?