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I have always been a pen lover. I fixate on one particular pen that has the weight and appearance and ink flow that I prefer and I carry it with me every day. In fact I feel naked if I leave the house without my one special pen. I don’t like anyone else in the family to use it because I don’t want to lose it. I come home from work, place it next to my wallet and keys, and expect it to be right there the next morning.

So when the ink cartridge runs dry it can be a traumatic experience. Now I am thrust into crisis mode — trying to figure out where to source the appropriate replacement. The exercise is compounded by the lack of standardization in the industry.

It seems like every pen takes a unique cartridge. You would think I would anticipate this struggle and purchase a replacement along with the pen. But usually my pen comes by way of a gift from a family member who sees that my old faithful is scratched up and on its last legs. There should be one super store like a huge Greetings and Readings or Office Depot box store that would serve as the gold standard for replacing ink cartridges. I should be able to bring them my pen and expect them to source the appropriate style replacement. But I have not found that to be the case. I should not be forced to switch my loyalty to a different pen because of a lack of ink. I am afraid this will remain a major Pet Peeve for me.