OPINION

Good handwriting days

Ronna LawlessStaff Writer

Much like good hair days and bad hair days, I have good and bad handwriting days. Looking through my notebook for a piece of information the other day, it occurred to me that if a stranger flipped through my spiral-bound steno pad, they might think half a dozen different people had written in it. But it’s just me in there.

I’ve been this way since I was a teenager, or maybe even before. Some days the ink just flows onto the page like it’s an art form, and other days my pen trudges along the paper, leaving big ugly letters in its path.

Sometimes I look at my notes and think, “Hmm. I wonder what that word was supposed to be.”

It’s as though my fingers suffer from multiple personality disorder.

There used to be a common feature in newspapers where someone would submit their handwriting, and an expert would give details about what the writing told about the person. I always thought it would be fun to be analyzed that way, but which of my samples would I share?

I’d share a pretty sample, of course, and that might not give an accurate depiction of what’s my analysis should be.

It seems like most of the women in my family have very stable handwriting patterns. I can tell my mom’s handwriting from a mile away. Although sometimes she prints and sometimes she writes in cursive, each style had remained the same for the past half-century that I’ve known her.

My sisters-in-law both have cool handwriting, and both have remained mostly unchanged over the years. Growing up, I tried to emulate them in many ways, including trying to copy their writing styles.

My Aunt Ruby passed away in 1995, but I can still see her handwriting in my mind’s eye. It was fancy cursive writing, with just the right amount of loops and swoops. Very pretty and feminine and petite, just like she was.

In fact, I am sure I could identify the handwriting of all of my aunts among many pages of writing. Reading their cards and letters over the years, I think I came to associate them with their penmanship, and each seems to suit them in the best possible ways.

Looking through old recipe cards in my mom’s recipe box, I can tell without even reading them whose kitchen they came from.

With all the typing and texting kids do these days, I wonder if they have a chance to develop their own character in their handwriting. Or maybe develop several characters, like I have.

I’ve had a theory that perhaps good hair days and good handwriting days coincide. But I discovered that my hypothesis was flawed when I noticed my notes from a recent Nevada school board meeting looked awesome, but my hair, not so much.

Ronna Lawless is a staff writer for the Nevada Journal and Tri-County Times. You can email her at rlawless@nevadaiowajournal.com or follow her on Twitter, @ronna67.