Maybe I was destined to be a writer. I got my first “real” pen for Christmas when I was seven. It was one of my favourite possessions.
It’s a Parker Pen, designed just for girls. I’m amazed I still have it after all these years. I still love it. It may also have been the start of my love affair with the colour known as “robin’s egg blue.” And I get a kick out of the Atomic Age starbursts. Ah, the starburst…you see them on old formica table tops from the ’50s and ’60s, on vintage table wear, wall clocks, and pretty much anything retro-inspired that attempts to recapture the giddy optimism of that era of scientific discovery, space exploration, The Jetsons, et al. I should try to find refills for it, although it’s really too small for my hand now.
I’m also amazed at the vast number of websites dedicated solely to the collection of Parker Pens. Thanks to them, I was able to learn that this pen is so tiny because, as an old Parker Pen ad says, “A girl-size hand needs a girl-size pen”*
*I’ve actually seen two versions of this ad; one of them contains the parenthetical ad-on, “(and it’s time the men who make pens did something about it)”. [Ahem…]
Anyway, I’ve also learned that this pen model was called the Tiara Jotter. Jotter was the name of Parker’s popular line of ball-point pens. And Tiara because, well, of course all girls want to be princesses. A girl’s pen for a girl-size hand must be as girly as possible, right down to the name. Yes, a girl should learn to write, but we wouldn’t want her getting ideas and running off to Paris to become another Hemingway or something, now, would we? Or, I don’t know, growing up to make products that women use…
Apparently the Tiara pens also sometimes came with a fake pearl necklace. I don’t think mine did. At least I have no recollection of a pearl necklace. My parents may have taken it away, thinking it was inappropriate for a seven-year-old to wear jewellery, or maybe they thought it was a choking hazard. Or maybe I was just way more interested in the pen itself.
The Girl’s Jotter pens were just a gateway pen. Older gals could graduate to Parker’s line of Lady’s pens—also appropriately dainty, of course. (The actual pen-sized Parker Pens with the famous arrow-shaped clip on them were strictly for men.) Yes, we girl scribes had our princessy destinies to fulfill, as evidenced by this hilarious commercial, circa 1970’s, for Parker’s Lady’s line: