I usually do not buy girly things because I prefer standard issue upon which to establish my own creativity and art. But this twinkly pink pen caught my eye and as it was only a dollar I bought it to put in the plastic pocket of my briefcase to add a touch of femininity. To keep track of the little pen until I got it home I went to put it in my blouse beast pocket, a muscle memory from half a century ago when men's shirts had breast pockets into which they could clip their pens and very occasionally I could find a woman's blouse with a breast pocket. I wore them even though I was mocked as unladylike for it. I never went so far as to fit myself out with a plastic pen pocket protector like the men of science, but I admired that style. Pen pocket protectors have probably gone the way of buggy whips in this era of smart phone record keeping. I am almost surprised that pens are still sold. My pretty pink pen writes surprisingly well, a pleasant distraction. (Manufacturers habitually discriminate again women when they offer pocketless clothing for women to save the few pennies to sew it on. This has been going on all of my life.)
Note: while I would very much prefer to enter my Mali, West Africa memories and observations as consecutive posts, I am emotionally unable to do so. As happens with old people, my memories from that long ago experience in Mali are as clear as if it were this morning, and writing about what I saw the Malian men, women, and children enduring there brings me to the point of tears and physical illness. My heart breaks into a frighteningly arrhythmia of sympathetic distress, my gut churns with misery that threatens to vomit out, my sinuses swell and overflow with tears of grief, and my spine from head to hips aches so much that I have trouble hobbling from room to room in my house. Sometimes my habitual headache degenerates into a full blown ocular migraine with unpleasant, debilitating effects too numerous to enumerate beyond loss of vision. I have to take breaks from my posting about Mali, West Africa in order to return to it with strength for the full concern and caring that it deserves. I cannot allow myself too many distractions though because the story of how poor, beautiful Mali was so hard on the people must be told, especially as Malians appear to still be suffering the same bad circumstances as half a century ago.
Perhaps it would be easier if I saw others in the world writing honestly, personally about the situation in Mali. Perhaps they will follow.
Caption: Blouses Without Breast Pockets For Pens
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019