My handwriting is terrible.
Now, I know, most girls say that in a big dramatic almost passive aggressive fashion. (Cue the dramatic eye roll and vocal pitch inflections of: “Oh My GAUD, my handwriting is the WORST.”) And I stand next to them with their heart shaped dotted i’s and repetitive smiley faces and proudly proclaim, “No bitch. Mine is.”
The thing is, I like my terrible handwriting.
When you really think about it, handwriting is the most true and honest reads one can have on a person. Because, for the most part, your handwriting is a permanent attribute that is very, very hard to change. I mean, I remember the days I tried to change how I wrote the letter T. I used to give it a dog’s tail like they taught you in elementary school and I had to actively think about halting the tail swoop action and stick to a straight up and down cross of an uneven plus sign. (Down cross, down cross Tafel, cut this dog tail shit.) Can you imagine the difficulty it would be to clarify and perfect each letter in your handwriting repertoire at this juncture in time? Yeah, I don’t think so. Not gonna do it.
I realize the hypocrisy or typing a blog about handwriting, but I do enjoy the imaginativeness that this set up can cause a reader. Let’s have a little exercise, shall we? Think of the person you know who has the best handwriting you have ever seen. Who is that person? What kind of traits does this person have? Who are they to you in your life? Does it surprise you that their handwriting is so nice?
Now think of someone who has beautiful handwriting but is not nearly legible. Who is that person?
Now think of someone who has chicken scratch that is illegible. Cool. And who’s that? Now think of a child’s handwriting that is illegible. Who’s that kid? Now think of a child’s handwriting that is legible, but is still a child’s handwriting. Okay, okay, got it. Now think of an adult with childlike legible handwriting.
You just landed on me. Now who the fuck am I?
I think depending on when you met me or how you know me, my handwriting is a shock to a few folks. My friends probably aren’t shocked at all, but adults with real adult jobs and look at me as a professional adult, for instance, might be taken aback by my shabby chic John Hancock.. If I nail a cover letter and an interview given by you, there is room to be appalled at the first sticky note on your desk. (But by the way, thanks for hiring me. Any takers?) I stand reason to believe that some may view my scribbles as a sign that I am not as intelligent as I so desperately want people to think, and in fact I duped you into thinking I was. I sometimes get embarrassed with my doodling ability, because on occasion it limits any sort of beautiful or professional from scratch thing that I may be asked to do. (When making signs, for instance, for the CW show I worked on, my boss politely excused me from the project and left it to Ms. Lauren “Myhandwritingissodamnprettyiforsurewasinasoroityincollege” Seaber to handle it. And though my embarrassment is an honest feeling, I can’t help but acknowledge the fact that I AM constantly duping people into thinking I am something I am not.
And my handwriting is what proves the duping.
(That said, I am super smart, you guys. Like wayyyyy smart so don’t worry if you think I’m suddenly revealing that I’m dumb. The constant typos in my blog do that for me.)
Ah duping. I don’t even know if I mean to do it anymore. But I do. I do the dupe.
For example, I have always fancied myself a non-girl girl. I’m simply making up my womanhood as I go along, not really certain why I bought that white eyeliner and how to style my hair without burning the shit out of my forehead. I wear clothes until they are out of style and then back in style again (mostly for budget reasons but I’m certain once that budget issues subside I will be reusing clothes from the 2002 as per usual) Recently the biggest interview of my life had me in a shirt I got on a cruise when I was 15. But I’m sure no one noticed. No one can see those tiny details if you know how to guide correctly.
Yes, like the lighting design on The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride, I know how to avert people’s eyes to focus on the specific ambiance I want, yet in actuality I have no idea what I am doing. After my lack of womanhood, there is also my entire lack of adulthood: be it buying decent diet foods or knowing exactly how to divvy up my paycheck. I kind of fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to scary words like “bills” and “insurance” and though I am not a procrastinator, I am certainly not a fully-knower and just hope that what I am doing is what will work for now.
I am aware that people think I am Type A and a goody goody and bubbly and cute and maybe a bit innocent. But then there’s the other side of me, the side of my handwriting. It’s boyish and sloppy and rough and playful and I think shows my inner weirdo self. My handwriting is the side of me that comes out at theme parties or squeals when it gets to go to Disneyland. My handwriting is my makeup-less, nacho eating me wearing tye-dye pjs on a Sunday, complete with multiple beers and having delightful commentary on an SNL hulu sketch. My handwriting is the dream character I want to write for myself someday on a sitcom, because god knows in my acting class the tough cop lady and/or sexy skinny wife are not matching my plus sign Ts.
My boyfriend’s handwriting is slanted and clear and nice. It gives off a tone of calm and warmth and straight lace that really does match him. My friend Jen has nice girly handwriting that is occasionally sloppy, and I think it shows her teacher, baking, two dog owning side with a splash of the fact that her house is kinda messy. My friend Lauren has super neat handwriting, perfect for sign making and peppiness, and illustrating her nurturing side along with her side that doesn’t quite want to grow up. My grandmother’s handwriting is childlike, always printed, and just screams “love, love, innocence, and love.” My dad’s handwriting is pretty for a man’s, no doubt a result of Catholic grade school and the fact that, oh yeah, my dad’s a genius. My mom’s writing is neat and clear, perfect for a teacher, even better for sentimental cards. My friend John has handwriting that looks strikingly similar to mine, maybe a little skinnier here and a little taller and rounder there, and I think that comes from the fact that he can draw and paint and uses his hands well, but he, like me, has no idea what he is doing.
Look at letters, read notes, see what handwriting says about people in your life.
Mine says I’m surprisingly weird. Which to loved ones is probably…not surprising at all.
– One L
“ The amount of on top of things you are, is not.” – a note I hand wrote to John and that is on his work desk.