The Mystery of the Missing Pen

Restoring and selling pens is not always plain sailing. There’s sometimes the gorgeous pen that you have to set aside for want of a part. There can be a crack in a cap that will not mend, do what you will. It can happen, thankfully rarely, that a dispatched pen goes astray and is lost forever or – even worse – arrives damaged despite my care in packaging.

All these, and doubtless other calamities, arise because Lady Luck, a capricious wench, has turned her face against me. Yesterday there was an occurrence that had nothing to do with luck or happenstance. It came from another source.

My website informed me that I had sold a pen, and it was to a valued returning customer. It was a modern pen in its large box. When I looked in the drawer where it was supposed to be it wasn’t there! I was a little puzzled and I had a look around the room which we devote to pen restoration and storage. In vain, I hasten to add.

My husband and I searched the room. We emptied every cupboard, examined every shelf, poked in every corner where it might have fallen. We searched our records, digital and paper, but there was no trail to lead us to the missing pen. This was bad. It was, in fact, desperately bad. It seemed that I was offering for sale a pen I did not have, and I was going to have to disappoint a valued customer, the last thing in the world I wanted to do.

We decided that we would take the day to try to find the pen, though we had no idea where else to look. I was already mentally composing an email of the most profound apology. My husband was idly looking at the bookshelves in the living room as he racked his brains for the hideout of the missing pen. Then, suddenly, there was an imprecation which I will not repeat here as he lunged for the bookshelf behind my chair and came up with the missing pen!

I had listed that pen on the sales website in May. It was then that my husband was taken into hospital and transferred to the larger one one hundred miles away. I had set the pen aside on the bookshelf temporarily while I dealt with the resulting shenanigans. The sense of relief on its discovery was beyond my ability to render in words. I would not have to disappoint the customer and – though it is a lesser concern – I would not appear an idiot!

So where did that contretemps arise from? Old Lady Luck had nothing to do with it. Scatterbrainedness, if that’s a word. If it wasn’t before, it is now. Sometimes our actions don’t get saved to the human hard disk. Other concerns have greater weight at the time and the half-considered action flies away and disappears like a wisp of smoke.


6 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Missing Pen

  1. It’s funny that you wrote about this Deb. I have a Japanese house coat (with the over sized square sleeves) that I wear from time to time. The other day as I picked it up I heard a tinkling sound. But I know that it doesn’t have any pockets. On further examination I found a ladies RHR pencil lost in the inside of the sleeve. I have no idea how long it has been there but I suspect at least a year.


  2. this ‘random mis-placing’ isn’t to far away from that other very annoying failing of deliberately ‘putting things away so securely and safely’, that you can’t then find them.
    If I had a pound for every time I’ve spent hours or days looking for something that I know I have, but can’t find ……………. so perhaps difficulty of relocating something is related to size ………. now if we all collected large books ….:-)
    Glad to hear that Gordon came up trumps.

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