Apparently I am not the only one whose writing hand is disobedient. It is not coordination, because I can word-process like a demon. (I blame this skill, by the way, on my father, who signed me up for typing lessons in the SUMMER of Grade 10. He said I would be glad later, because I certainly wasn't overjoyed at the time. He was right, of course, but neither of us had foreseen the future, in which little, less, or no handwriting is a social expectation. In this brave new digital world, the first casualty has been cursive.) Quite aside from the issue of legibility, kids print now if they hand-write at all and amazingly, few can even read cursive. My favourite older adult corrective to this development is Jeanne Robertson's; a lanky former Miss North Carolina in spike heels, Robertson is hilarious; watch her stand-up "Learning Cursive" on YouTube ( would give you the link if I knew how). An admirable solution.
But while I have the knowledge and even the old writing callus of cursive, I now lack the requisite patience to form correct shapes. So much for my smug superiority to Jon, never having been summoned to campus to read my exams aloud. Now neither Jon nor I can read our own notes, let alone one another's. Last week I left a quick note to him which read "Go to the grocery store and to your mother's." Luckily I arrived home while he was still puzzling about why he should go and what he would be expected to find. I had meant to write "Gone." Close. No cigar.
So in the spirit of fond memory, I offer this thirty-year old calligraphic tribute to friendship. If you can read this, you are OLD. The upside is, of course, the presence of old friends, as well as the new ones who will stake out their own places in your heart.