Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Does Anyone Contract Out Thank You Notes?

This weekend I busted out  thank you notes, but my handwriting is illegible. I changed from small caps to all caps as my fellow left-handed father did to stem the tide of poor penmanship, but to no avail. I swear I wrote nice things and tried to personalize them when I had the energy to muster. It's just that as a lefty I have no choice, but to have poor, 1st-grade level penmanship and you may not understand what I wrote.

The hardest test I ever took.

I was THAT kid in 3rd grade whose recess was cut short as the last one out the door because I couldn't write neat script, no matter how large the line spacing. As a lefty I've never enjoyed comfortable scissors, completed a blue book without smudged ink along my left pinky, nor borrowed a fountain pen without destroying the tip. I learned the hard way that erasable ink pens aren't made for my people.

I play some sports right-handed, but the almighty pen rests in my left.

Any writing tablet that forces me to rest my hand on a spiral binding, page crease, or other discriminatory layout will guarantee the hieroglyphics I try to pass off as English. Experts say lefties push as we write instead of pulling. I just think I should move to Israel where lefties are the kings of right-to-left writing. Pathetically, my right-handed writing isn't much worse than my left.

What good would Thomas Jefferson's polygraph be if the handwriting is awful to start?

What's sad is that our thank you notes have no left-handed barriers for me to use as an excuse. My handwriting is craptacular without assistance. If etiquette hadn't said otherwise, the 40% of thank you notes that I had would have been typed. I think we'd all win. I save myself from hand cramps and ink poisoning absorption, while the recipient is able to read what I meant to convey...and isn't that the most important thing? It's either that or contract out a calligraphist.

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