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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Miserable handwriting

I can't even address an envelope. Not so you could read it, I mean.

[I]t seems strange that I have a good talent for drawing -- a strong line -- but miserable penmanship. You would think if I can draw a rose it should be easy to draw the letter "e" and not make it look a bit like "k" or maybe "i" or "o." But my handwriting is so bad it almost amounts to a secret code. The problem is even I am not always successful at decoding it.
It's always helpful to know who to blame, and I blame my bad handwriting on my father. When I was a schoolchild I had difficulty writing in cursive, so my father brought me a used typewriter from his law office. I loved that typewriter to death, but never learned to write cursive well.

My father had weird notions of child-rearing, and since I was his oldest child, I got the benefit of most of them. For instance, I had to sit at the table until I had finished my dinner. Since both of us were stubborn, I often sat there until bedtime. I also had a kind of fragile stomach, so if forced to eat something, I would--well, you figure it out.

One of the weirdest was of his notions was letting a child (me) make her own decision about surgery. The doctor recommended that my tonsils be taken out. I was not in favor, and he said that if I didn't want to I didn't have to. If the current climate of opinion had prevailed in those days, he would have probably been arrested for child abuse; all children had their tonsils out in those days. But not me.

I suppose if I had had some life-threatening disease my decision would have been overruled.

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