January 30, 2009
This morning I was at the post office to get a package. Yes, it was the result of my recent Saturday shopping.
Usually I have to sign for the parcel. With my signature, which keeps looking more odd the older I get. It is at this point unreadable and resembles just a mix of mindless doodling, than any known letters.
I am not sure exactly at what point my handwriting started to deteriorate. As a child, I was taught to write with a neat cursive handwriting, using an ink pen, also called fountain pen. I remember dipping the pen into the inkwell to begin with, but about two years into my school start, the pens became more modern and came "ready to be used" with ink cartridges. Every note book I remember using would contain a sheet of pink blotting paper, for removing the excess ink after writing.
When I was in 7th grade, the schools introduced the modern ballpoint pen, making our writing easier and neater. No more ink smudges in our note books. And slowly the presence of blotting paper disappeared as well .
When I was thirteen years old, my parents moved to Sweden. In school I realized that the handwriting of the Swedish children was different to mine. No one wrote in cursive style. They all wrote printed style, which was certainly odd to me. However, I tried to adapt in any way I could, so my writing changed slowly as well.
Today I still print when I write. I write all the letters as capital letters, imagine that. All caps, as if I was shouting!
To date the most beautiful handwriting I have ever seen is that of my Irishman. His letters to me are my most treasured possessions. He is an artist, not just when it comes to the writing style, but he has a way with words as well.
But back to the signature. My signature looks nothing like my name. In fact, it is unreadable, even by me. I recall a memory from my childhood, today with great amusement; I used to watch my mother sign letters and prescriptions (she was a pediatrician) and I kept asking her, if she used "the grown up style" writing. Not being able to read what she wrote and seeing that her handwriting looked nothing like mine, I believed that we all learned the "grown up" handwriting when we grew up.
Well, certainly, I did learn it; or at least the unreadable signature.