Monday, May 11, 2009


Wow. I just took a relationship from the blogosphere to the land of the hand-written world.

And I must confess that as I scrawled my return address my brain uttered some kind of prayer that RabidRunner is the pretty lady I've seen a photo of and not some creepy freak who will come and kill me in my sleep. (The Husband has made efforts to instill a hearty paranoia in me and I've taken to it nicely.)

And Rabid, if you are some psycho who doesn't run marathons, have a husband whose heels hurt, or have a couple Yahoos to rear, I refer you to my gun photos posted last week. Break into my house and try to off or harm me and I'll leave a hole where your head used to be. It's within my rights. I researched this.

Anyhow, as I sat at my desk, favorite Wellbutrin XL gel pen in hand and nifty Night Owl card ready for tattooing, to write out a thank-you note to my online friend for her musical celebration of my birthday, I stopped to consider which handwriting to use.

See, I have four different handwriting "fonts" of my own. Similarly to how we alter our register by circumstance when speaking/writing, I put into play my appropriate penmanship per situation/recipient.
• Do I use the distinctive caps mixed with lowercase letters and capital As and Hs that often confuse the heck out of readers? (Is that the Greek letter Delta? Is that a U?)

• As this is a traditional thank-you note, do I use my swirly formal font that takes so much longer to write out than any handwriting should?

• Do I go with my version of Cursive, my day-to-day font: a mix of cursive letters, print letters, desperate swooshes, furious loops and illegibility that is often a hindrance in my own efforts at what-the-heck-does-that-say?

• Or do I use my precise grade-school-esque handwriting which is juvenile yet easy to decipher?
Each font reveals a bit of me and my feelings about my relationship to what I'm writing and who is receiving it:
• The Caps font is hip but precise, and it says that I'm putting the time into this note, but, for your enjoyment, I'm also leaving the stamp of my terribly unique personality.

• The Swirly Formal font is stuffy and pretty, and it tells the recipient that I am taking this note seriously and am issuing a very formal thanks for your kindness. It's the one I use the least often, and to me, when I use it it says that I am treating this particular circumstance as a unique event.

• The Everyday Cursive is grown up in its illegibility and maintains a lot of personality in it's untidiness and flagrant Ys, Ts, and Gs. It states that I dashed off this note pretty quickly, but I felt comfortable enough with you to give you my day-to-day self, letter-dropping scratch and all.

• The Grade School font is a mix of adult/child aesthetics. It reveals that I carefully carved out each letter in the note, encouraging the reader to see me as organized, academic, yet maintaining a sense of humor about myself.
So when writing RabidRunner my first tangible communication, which font did I employ?

Guess, if you wish. Or she can read this and tell you outright. (That is, if Rabid still reads my blog, has received the note (assuming The Husband actually did toss it in the mail as I think he did rather than my other suspicion that I wrote the note, addressed it, and then promptly misplaced it) and I did a good job delineating the unique features of each style so the woman's able to discern which one she ended up with.)



whitneyingram said...

You used your cursive. I know you.

Why in the hell am I still awake?

Shelby Lou said...

I'm going to guess the caps. Even though Rookie is probably right. I just like the sound of that one.

rabidrunner said...

Does this mean we get to be pen pals?!

One would assume that your eclectic personality and diverse set of talents would require more than one handwriting style. I'll say the upper/lowercase mix. Because you know that I know that I like to be confused.

I'm going to the mailbox now... to wait. Maybe set up a lemonade stand to pass the time. Or read an Ayn Rand.

p.s. You should know that I am psychotic in many ways. I do, however, have lotsa respect for others and their privacy. You may set your "piece" aside on my account. (I would suggest you keep it around though, not only is it functional for safety, it's a very attractive accessory.)

p.p.s. Funny you should write this. I was thinking this morning with your post about your lovely mom that I comment too much. Was going to lay off so as not to appeal consuming and/or smothering. Oh well.

Walker said...

I'm guessing your day-to-day handwriting - that is how I write to my friends and it sounds like RabidRunner's going to be a good one!

I, too, have several handwritings that I use for different occasions, so I understand the initial decision-making predicament. All caps? My new all-caps-cursive (almost perfected today during a fast-paced meeting)? Illegible cursive? Or my fancy cursive? They're like my mini-multiple personalities!

Mandee said...

I just wanted to say that she is real, and one of my most favorite people ever. And the same goes for "spouse"- good, good people.

KateGladstone said...

I can't guess what you used ... so let me suggest one handwriting "font" choice that you appear not to have considered.

The fastest and most legible handwriters tend to avoid anything classifiable as "printed" or "cursive." They join some letters, but NOT all of them -- making the very easiest joins, skipping the rest -- and use streamlined but definitely print-like letter-shapes wherever a letter's printed and cursive forms "disagree." Try it!

Kate Gladstone --

Ashley Thalman said...

grown up in its illegibility. yo
that is a quote if I ever heard one...