See that embarrassed look? I’ll tell you how I relate to it and why it’s so cringeworthy.
You may have read my article about ugly handwriting – it seems to have rung a bell with a lot of people. At any rate, what I’ve learnt from all the emails I’ve received about the article is that most people with ugly handwriting feel rather self-conscious about it.
Odd! Because there’s really nothing to be embarrassed about it if you have ugly handwriting. Or is there?
Well here’s the thing. There may be some justification for feeling embarrassed. You see, handwriting is an extension of yourself. It’s a part of your self-image. It’s as much a part of you as your distinctive walk or your hairstyle or your choice of clothing.
It says so much about you! No wonder it can be a painful reminder of one’s inadequacies. Which is exactly why I’ve always envied beautiful handwriting!
And thereby hangs a genuinely embarrassing tale.
An Embarrassing True Story
It’s about something that happened to me very recently. And it still rankles!
I was at a conference where people were taking notes from some of the better speakers. During the tea break I walked past a table where one of the attendees had left her writing pad open on the table.
Well I hate to be thought a snooper – but I honestly couldn’t help it. I was involuntarily drawn to her writing pad like a magnet to a pile of iron filings!
I leaned over the table and put on my reading glasses to take a closer look. The handwriting looked as if it had been typed. It was neat, small and exact with no noticeable upper or lower loops and the lines looked as if they had been drawn with a ruler. Perfection if ever I saw it!
While I was so deeply engrossed in this covert attempt at surveillance, the owner of the handwriting returned to the table and sat down with a flourish.
She looked up at me with undisguised contempt and an expression of utter disdain.
And then with one swift movement she turned her notes upside down. Then she looked at me accusingly straight in the eye.
There was no time to explain that I hadn’t read a single word of her notes! That I had only looked at her handwriting.
There was a rush for chairs as the main speaker took up the microphone. So I scuttled back to my own table feeling more than a little abashed.
From the safety of my own table I was able to take a good look at her. She was small and neat in appearance and precise in her movements. She actually looked like a prototype of the handwriting that had made such an impact on me! Perfect to the point of intimidating, it now seemed as if her handwriting had mirrored everything about her.
And to be honest despite my put down, I felt excited. Because there for all practical purposes was demonstrable proof that handwriting mirrors personality. I had discovered a perfect example of a perfectionist both in style and in handwriting.
So my story ends on a somewhat subdued but nevertheless slightly triumphant note. Because if there’s any moral to the story – it’s that perfectionism isn’t always perfect!
And as an aside – is there any hope for those of us who have a bit of the rebel in us – who don’t and can’t conform?
Well that’s exactly why I wrote that article about ugly handwriting!