Chicken Scratch?! How Good Is Your Penmanship?

Some people say my writing looks like chicken scratch but of course I tell them that first of all, if I used a pen it would be owl scratch, not chicken scratch, but besides that I use a computer, hellooo.  My good friend Pat knows what I mean, she has some problems communicating with her handwriting, read her funny story below!

How good is your penmanship?

While I freely acknowledge mine may not quite meet the standards of Catholic schools, and as a reporter I was confident that any court that seized my notes could never decipher them, don’t you think my spouse ought to be able to figure out my handwriting after more than three decades of looking at it?

Instead, he prefers to consider my less-than-perfect penmanship as pure entertainment, which is ironic coming from a man whose handwriting has such a left-handed slant that it can make you dizzy.  And yet, I still seem to be able to figure out what he’s written.

My spouse, however, enjoys pretending he cannot interpret my notations on the grocery list, for example. “What are tamdos wells?” he’ll ask, trying to look innocent when clearly (at least to me) I’ve written “taco” shells. “Why do we need hot tomatoes?” he’ll say if I’ve written  potatoes. Sometimes he'll return from the grocery store without a critical recipe ingredient because “I couldn’t read your writing.” (Have I mentioned he also hasn’t figured out that to use a cell phone to call me, he might have to bring it with him?)

Anyway, this written communication problem raised its ugly head again recently when I called en route to work to ask that he flip the calendar page, check the date for No. 2 son’s annual checkup and remind that child he needed to be sure he had the time off.

A short time later I received this e-mail from my spouse:

"The checkup possibilities are:

June 13: "4:45 Pedo/Synod Mo Velly"

June 15: "-Dad"

June 23: "$70we"

June 25-26: "Doud"

June 30: "10:30 anyou"

Any of those look like it?"

Say what? Does this man truly believe notations like “$70we” or “anyou” merit reminders on the family calendar? It makes me wonder what world he thinks I inhabit that I would write a note to remember  something like “Doud” or “Mo Velly.”

It took only one quick look at his e-mail message to figure out the appointment was June 13—“4:45, Pediatrics, Dr. Symonds” -- AND NOT “Pedo/Synod Mo Velly.”

My conclusion from this latest experience is that the man is just not trying hard enough.

We’re lucky this “failing” to correctly interpret my handwriting hasn’t led to bigger problems than a confusing grocery store list. I probably could avoid them by sending text messages to his low-tech phone, but again – he would have to carry it with him for this plan to work.

I suppose I could type the grocery list on the computer, but don’t you think it would be cruel to deny him the fun of decoding my scribbles?

Has your handwriting ever caused problems – or amused someone?




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