When I was little, I could recognize my friends’ salutations in my yearbook just by looking at their handwriting. Heather’s handwriting was incredibly feminine and loopy. Donna’s handwriting was textbook-esque and tiny. Christine’s handwriting was rigid at the corners, but curlier in the middle.
Now, I have close friends whose handwriting I’m sure I couldn’t recognize. I know their email addresses, but I have no idea how they write the word “Sincerely.”
I have to admit, I love handwriting. There is something intimate about recognizing the way your loved ones make their mark. Since handwriting doesn’t change throughout the years, knowing the way someone holds their pen is a stamp of a long-lasting friendship.
Plus, there is something artistic about handwriting. My friend Dana has incredibly slanted handwriting which looks like it belongs in a calligraphy magazine. My dad’s handwriting is nearly illegible, but incredibly masculine and deliberate. My sister’s handwriting is similar to mine, except tidier on the page and without as many exclamations.
So, naturally, when I got married, it was important to me to recognize my husband’s handwriting. Thankfully, he’s a letter writer, so I have bountiful evidence of his block letters (evenly spaced). His handwriting is so… him. Cool, calm, collected.
Call me a hopeless romantic, but I worry for the day that partners can’t recognize the tilt of a loved one’s signature. Perhaps we should all make sure to step away from the email now and again, just so our kids can learn our signatures.