It doesn’t happen often anymore, but when it does, I freeze. Someone asks me to complete a form, sign a birthday card, or jot a note for them. Heaven forbid they need my signature. My longhand is pretty much illegible to anyone but me. In school, my classmates never asked to borrow my notes more than once. It made sense to me, but when I looked at their elegant script, I hid my paper. I grew tired of losing exam points and experiencing the walk of shame to the teacher’s desk to explain that I had the correct answer.
I rejoiced when the teacher required typed submissions. The font removed judgment, and censor. Times New Roman masked my personality and the hidden secrets in my scrawling. My words stood on their own merit, untainted by the reader’s assumptions revealed by my scratching. The ink color, the direction of slant, the size of my loops, or my sentences rising as they cross the page, no longer came into question.
My handwriting always draws comments, so I print. It was self-defense. Every letter carefully executed in capitals. Letters requiring capitalization, I make taller. I am proficient and print faster than most people write. My hand screams annoyance and conveys the nuisance of writing with a pen for others to analyze. Then the questions begin. Are you an architect? An engineer? A scientist? Once they look at my name, they ask if I am a doctor.
What does your handwriting reveal about you?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer