How about a bonus post this week? Yes? Things change don't they. For a long time (multiple years in fact) I wrote up a new blogpost every weekday. Monday through Friday, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. And that's a lot of posts! 260 a year! Wow! And then I started to, occasionally, drop one each week so it was only 4 posts a week, randomly dropping one day here and there, so about 208 posts annually. Last year there were big gaps, weeks with no posts at all - reasonable and understandable during my medical leave of absences. And when I got better and started posting regularly again, somehow, it got chopped down to only two posts a week. (?) Not sure how that happened.
And then I woke up this morning with an idea for a different topic and said to myself, "Be sure to write down this idea before you forget so you can write it up next week". (I absolutely have to write everything down anymore - geez) Then I asked myself why I was saving it for a future post. Why not just write it up today? It's not like there are laws or rules on the blogsite after all. And even if there were, it's My blogsite! If there ARE rules, they are My rules which means I can change them.
Suddenly I feel so very strong and powerful :)
The topic for this post (which I was originally planning to save) has to do with penmanship. Mine specifically. My handwriting is horrible. I suppose my arthritis is partly to blame, my fingers no longer do as I command them! But I have to be honest, my crippled up digits are only part of the problem. My handwriting has always been bad.
One of the elementary schools that I attended actually graded students on their handwriting. Because it wasn't an academic subject, it wasn't given the usual A,B,C or D but instead the dreaded S or U. Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. Those were the options. Win or lose. You were either in or out, up or down, good or bad, there was no grey area when it came to penmanship. Every marking period I brought home a nice list of A's and B's on my academics and S's for everything else EXCEPT penmanship. Oh dear.
It's not like I didn't try. I did! I tried very hard! I really did not want that Unsatisfactory marring my lovely report card. And yet, there it was, marking period after marking period. U for penmanship. Sigh.
I suppose it's a genetic thing. My mother's handwriting was appalling. Practically illegible. Any letter or note she every wrote to me, I'd have to puzzle out. Sometimes it would involve consulting with other people - "What do you think this word is?" And we would, as a group, try to sort it out. It was, very nearly, a parlour game.
I was given writing exercises to do - endless loops across the page - and shown example after example of perfect penmanship to attempt to emulate. "Slow down!" they told me over and over, "If you would just slow down" which didn't help at all. I remember tearfully re-writing and re-rewriting my homework night after night in an effort to produce a better product. Which was an exercise in futility because the ugly Unsatisfactory still showed up without fail.
Eventually came the time when I managed to create some sort of handwriting that was deemed "good enough". My papers were no longer returned to me marked "unable to read" and I gave a huge sigh of relief. I no longer had to fight with my pens. My writing, while not satisfactory, was good enough. I can live with that.
Of course at some point, perhaps junior high school?, I was given a typewriter and from that point forward Everyone was happier because my handwriting was no longer an issue. Except of course for my signature and I heard multiple lectures about how awful that was. Oh well.
My great grandmother (on the other side of the family ) had exquisite handwriting. I believe it was called copperplate. I have a few cherished letters from her and although the ink is a little faded, her beautiful handwriting is still a marvel to behold. Nearly art. It's less like writing and more like drawing I think. It's very nearly calligraphy. Makes mine look even worse by comparison.
Nowadays, I actually write, I mean with pen and ink- actually writing on paper, very little. A signature in a birthday card, a quick note left for Tim when I go out during the day, or maybe a grocery list is about the extent of it. Everything is done on a computer with a keyboard which is just upgraded typing. So the only person truly inconvenienced by my awful penmanship is me. I admit that there are times in the grocery store where I have to stop and stare at the list in my hand - my own list which I wrote - to figure out what a particular item listed is.
Yes, yes, I know, I could write my list on my phone which is actually typing not writing but I absolutely hate typing on my phone. Those tiny little buttons ! ARGH! So I still take a pen and write on paper, tuck the paper in my pocket, go to the grocery store and then stand random aisles trying to determine if the word I'm looking at is plums or tums.
Here are a few random word samples that I wrote for this post. This is my real handwriting and I 'slowed down' and 'made an effort' just so you know:
I actually do still hear those teacher voices in my head when I'm writing, especially when I'm making a sincere effort to write legibly. So sad. I think you can probably make out most of the phrases. From top to bottom it's : dancing divas, feline frolics, bedazzled beauty and timid tortoise. Not too horrible, right? Right?
Okay. Well all of that was to say the following.
I had to pick up a prescription at the grocery store recently and the pharmacist said, as they always do, to sign the screen on the left . All righty. But the stylus to sign with was missing so he suggested that I just use my finger on the screen. It not only looked nothing like my actual signature, it didn't even look like writing. It was just scribble. And that passes, every single day, as an acceptable signature. What the heck?
Worse is when I have to "sign" medical papers on line and they say to just draw your signature with your mouse. I cannot draw with my mouse. I can barely click with my mouse. That "signature" is even worse. UPS and FedEx deliveries that have to be signed for is again, using a finger on a screen. It's just ishkabibble, it's not writing!
All of those years of being browbeaten over my horrible handwriting and nearly illegible signature was for naught. It's irrelevant anymore. My so-called signature is basically and S with a line followed by an H with a line and a curlicue on the end for the "s".
I feel, oddly , vindicated. Years of Unsatisfactories have now been, not just throw away, but mentally torn into tiny pieces, burned and then thrown into a black hole. As it turns out, Good Enough really and truly was good enough. So there!
Now this time when I wish you a happy weekend, I really mean have a Great Weekend. See ya sometime next week!
Hugs all 'round.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.