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I don’t know if you know, but when you travel to and from a foreign destination, you have to fill out some forms. The only destination I’ve ever heard of where you don’t is Martinique. They just want to see your passport. But everywhere else, you need to fill out a customs and immigration form. Airlines normally make these forms available at the gate as well as onboard the flight. Flight attendants pass them out and you have to fill them out before arriving to your destination. Problem is, for this to happen, you need a pen.

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“Well, okay, so what’s the problem?” (I can imagine most of you thinking this.) Here is the problem: On every flight, there are at least 8 people who have no pen.  And they want to borrow mine.

Let me explain something: I’m a writer. I know you know that, but as a writer, I’m obsessive about pens. I love pens. Here is a photo of the pens I just got out of my purse. This does not count the pens I have in my desk, on my night stand and tucked in my luggage in various spots.

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I also keep one or two tucked in my uniform jacket, and one is hanging around my neck attached to my ID lanyard. Needless to say, I’m a little nervous if I can’t get my hands on a pen when I need one. I used to lend my pen out. That is until the 597th person stole my pen yet again! So I quit lending them out for the most part. It’s my personal property and no, I’m not required to lend out my personal property. The looks I get occasionally could cut steel. You’d think I just told them the flight was canceling. I’m not a bitch about it, I just tell them they can borrow from one of their seat-mates.

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You can find this beautiful pen HERE

First of all, my question is, why in the hell don’t you have a pen? How can you leave the house to go to an airport to leave for a trip to a foreign destination and not have a pen? What? Seriously?

I get nervous going to another room without a pen let alone leaving the house without one.  I once went to the grocery store without a pen and I was horrified. So yeah, no…I don’t lend my pen out very often.

I’ve heard of one Flight Attendant who solved the problem of not getting his pen back by carrying one of these and lending it out:

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He always gets it back. Always. Think about it…where are they going to hide it? I also flew with a guy that keeps a “Pen Journal.” He has been journaling this issue for 15 years and has about a dozen or so small notebooks filled with notes from people who ask to borrow his pen. He will lend them his pen, if they write why they don’t have a pen in their possession. I asked him, “Do people ever refuse?” He replied, “Sure they do. But then, they can’t use my pen.” His journals are fascinating. Sometimes people even let him take their photo which he later prints up and inserts next to their entry.

One entry was hilarious! The guy wrote, “I simply forgot to grab one before leaving for the airport. And I hate to admit this, but I own an office supply store.”  So, a word to the wise…if you’re going to a foreign destination, always have a pen with you.

Besides, you never know when your next great idea might occur to you. Like manufacturing a really big pen.

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