I type exceedingly fast. I also have a high degree of accuracy when typing. With these two skills working in harmony, I am like a typing virtuoso. I’m not trying to brag, I’m just stating a few facts. I enjoy typing; combined with my love of language and writing, typing gives me a sense of having completed something important, even if it’s just an RFP or an e-mail announcement. I am such a fluid typist that people call others over to watch me type, as if I were a trained monkey who’s learned to sign. I credit all of this (as well as my impressive 10 key skills) to Mavis Beacon and her addictive line of typing software.
As a child, I was obsessed with my Mavis Beacon program. I would play it constantly on our home computer, even thought it can’t technically be called a “game.” I kept track of my high scores on the 10 key grocery bagging exercise and the repetitive typing Ferrari racing exercise, and became ultra-competitive with myself as the months and years went on. I even printed out the excessively useless “Certificates of Achievement” on our old black and white dot matrix printer and displayed them proudly at my desk.
However, Mavis Beacon has a dark side.
To every yin, there must be a yang, and both must be even. So, as fantastic as I am at typing, I am equally unfantastic at penmanship. My own mother has told me on several occasions that my handwriting looks like that of a serial killer. Not having personally seen many examples of serial killers’ penmanship, I can only assume that she’s comparing my broad, scrawling, nearly illegible handwriting to the type of notes that the Son of Sam left during his rampages. It’s not the most flattering analogy. I realize that my handwriting is difficult for others to read — sometimes I even have a hard time reading things I’ve written several months ago — and that the letters don’t even seem to come from the same alphabet at times, my lowercase Fs with their long tails dangling below the line like lowercase Js or Gs and my Zs and 7s with a continental line through them that I can’t remember where I even picked up, but I still wouldn’t compare my penmanship to that of a stark raving, homicidal lunatic.
That said, it is very difficult for me to write — with my hand — for very long without my hand cramping up and causing me extreme pain. And this brings us to the crux of my story today: Thank You Notes. I have roughly 100 thank you notes to write for the wedding. I have done four so far today and my hand feels like this:
Four — FOUR — thank you notes and, holy hell, it feels like my hand is about to fall off. By the time I hit number 100, people are going to be wondering whose mentally-challenged two-year-old scribbled their note, what it says, and why the hell it’s coming from me. I know I’m going to have to spread these out over at least a couple of weeks in order to prevent this. And hopefully our wedding guests will be okay with it. It’s that, or a seemingly hand-written note from a potential serial killer. I think they’ll prefer the former.