Internet, I Blame You

Once upon a time, I had pretty handwriting.

I might even call it artistic. My doodles in high school? Kinda epic. I hand addressed all the invitations to our wedding instead of paying a calligrapher, not because I could do calligraphy, but because I could write well enough… and I wanted to save that money for more booze at the reception.

A while back, my mother brought over a bag full of things she’d saved throughout my childhood, and somehow she wound up with a binder full of notes from my freshman year in college.

Yes, kids, back in my day we had to WRITE WITH PENS ON PAPER during class. There was no bringing a “laptop” or an “iPad” to class. We didn’t even know how to text back then. We actually had to CALL PEOPLE. 

I never realized how much I’ve digressed in the writing-things-on-paper-with-a-pen department until I saw what once was right in front of me.

Oh sure, it wasn’t my best work, but these were merely notes I haphazardly jotted down in preparation for a final, and already 100x more legible than what I can produce with a pen and paper today.

Take, for example, the notes I used to help prepare for the Twitter party I hosted last night:

Is it cursive? Is it print? Is it hieroglyphics?

You’ll maybe see that sometimes I can’t be bothered to write the slash part of the letter “i” and simply put a dot in random places.

My fingers are trying to move fast but my brain is all, “SLOW DOWN, the ‘M’ has TWO humps!” And my fingers are all, “SON OF A BITCH, can we just type this shit?!”

And then my brain is all “Wait… how do we spell that again?” and my fingers are all “YOU ARE SLOWING US DOWN. WHO NEEDS PROPER SPELLING? THAT’S WHAT SPELL CHECK IS FOR.”

And then my brain is like “Why can’t we stay between the lines? Where are the margins? Why do I hurt?” and my fingers are like “Just delete it! Oh wait, right, WE CAN’T. I’ll just scribble the hell out of it and we’ll move on, OKAY?”

So, in like 10 years I’ve regressed to handwriting worse than I think I ever started out with. I’ve seen my early, early work. My kindergarten letters, though lacking flair and style, were at least legible and consistent.

It’s all in direct correlation to the amount of time I spend vomiting the contents of my head by way of keyboard, of course.

I blame you, Internet. I blame you.

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  1. you know what though – and this can’t be a coincidence – the only thought I had when i saw your dishtowel gift note, was WOW she has really perfect handwriting.

  2. I definitely have the problem of my brain working at a faster pace than my kid sized fingers can move the pen. I am so obsessed with having clear and neat handwriting though that I will re-write a grocery list two or three times until it is correct…I just don’t want people in the market side-eyeing and referring to me as “the lady with the shitastic handwriting”.

    Things a crazy person says, I know. I blame the nuns in Catholic school with the hours upon hours of handwriting practice.

  3. Ha! So true! I used to have a beautiful signature (and I still do if I take the 5 seconds it takes to write it out), but just scribbling an R and some squiggles is so much quicker and easier!

  4. My writing is pretty ridiculous too. You’d think a shopping list would be easy enough.. lol. But I must say, the picture on that mug by your computer is freaking adorable!!

  5. I’m joining the blame game. I started keeping a journal recently and was appalled at how horrible my penmanship is. I mean it’s never been great, but all these years of not writing has made it even worse. And if I have to write a check to someone they are lucky if they get the amount I intend. Most tellers are probably cursing my name and searching for me to break my fingers. I have noticed that if I get a tighter spaced notebook, my marks improve. If the margins between the lines are too wide, I get real loose and if it’s unlined paper or has no clear “borders” then forget it. And I don’t even know to hold the stupid notebook most of the time! It slips and falls from my lap or I get lazy and let it slide along my leg. Tragic! My husband often asks when reviewing my grocery list, can you read that? And I can…usually…after staring at it for a good minute or “rereading it” three or four times. *sigh* Just glad to know I’m not alone.

  6. Haha too funny! My spelling has gotten so bad since the internet…like I can’t remember how to spell super easy words because I’ve relied on spellcheck for too long lol!

  7. You hit the nail on the head! Darn internet has caused my handwriting to turn to crap too. I don’t even write out my grocery list anymore. I just type it up and print it out. Although, I have a habit of writing out my blogging notes (a scribbled, misspelled, sloppy mess) then re-writing them all nice and neat with girly colored pens so they look pretty. But then I just have to type it all up anyway. Can’t win.

  8. Me too! LOL at “My fingers are trying to move fast but my brain is all, “SLOW DOWN, the ‘M’ has TWO humps!” And my fingers are all, “SON OF A BITCH, can we just type this shit?!””

  9. You know, I actually really miss physically writing things out. I keep a journal for my book-writing work and it’s kind of invigorating to jot things down in it freehand, instead of doing it via keyboard. I figure … I spend so much time typing away as it is, why not try something a little different each morning? It helps me feel more connected to my characters and also gives me a chance to keep up with something I’ve always loved 🙂

  10. I hate typing and texting. I find it much easier for me to write things down the old timey way and when it comes to texting…if its more than I few words, I pick up the phone and call the person. We still have a land line! I know…who has those anymore? Although the main reason we still have it is because we live in the boonies and our cell phones don’t work too well out here.

  11. This scares me to no end. Because my handwriting, my everyday script, has changed in the last few years to the degree that I sometimes question if something neurological happened. I blame the mouse. I totally do. For years I’ve typed as a writer, but the web means I used the mouse all the time. Way more than ever before. And my college notes scribbled to keep up with my professors a decade ago look better than my to-do list today. Stupid, mice.

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