Remember writing? Not typing, my friends, but writing. Taking a ballpoint pen to paper, placing your fingers just so, and fluidly flicking your wrist in a universal choreographed dance number which results in legible words that other people besides you can read and interpret? Yeah, what happened to that?
I didn’t get a “personal computer” until my sophomore year of high school. Fun fact: my Spanish teacher, Mr. Schaffer got so tired of reading 10-page papers written entirely in cursive (do people still say cursive?) that he scrapped together some Spanish teacher salary scratch and bought me a Gateway desktop with all the fixings. It was rad.
But prior to 1995 I had perfected a pretty beautiful and completely unique “hand.” My mom was/is big on proper handwriting technique and despite teaching me how to type when I was in third grade, she never thought anything of the fact that I was the only teenager still doing homework in longhand on a legal pad.
All that changed, of course, when I got my desktop, which was subsequently schlepped from Los Angeles to New York where I spent many a virgin night playing Freecell freshman year. That’s when it happened. When I went from being one of those nerds who regularly got A’s in the handwriting column of my report card to someone who could barely sign her name without thinking hard.
The devolution was slow and creeping, of course. You forget how to do a lower case “b” and then “q”-always my hardest — and then it’s like why bother just write something sort of resembling words and people’s eye muscle memory should kick in.
This the flowing script of the woman who raised me, the same someone who still thinks you have to hold the iPhone to your mouth to talk and then to your ear to hear:
And here’s me:
I’ve got a good friend who’s made it her goal to send a hand written “thank you” note once a week. Because there should be at least one thing you’re thankful enough to bust out a pen for every 168 hours. I considered taking on a similar challenge before then considering how exponentially bad my writing has gotten.
I tried to fill out a fax cover sheet the other day and it was like my hands were made of jelly. I actually remember thinking, “I hope whoever gets this doesn’t judge me.” Maybe they’ll think the fax machine took on a life of its own. I almost spelled my name wrong, people.
When Mandy wrote about her “morning pages” exercise a while back my mind screamed, “Noooooooo” before I could even think about it. What the heck is wrong with me? Is it really that hard to get back into the swing of things long hand style or should I just let the robot within take over? I like the idea of getting my cursive game up again but does anyone really care?