During the sixties and seventies left handed kids were treated like lepers. We were divided into rows….red, blue and yellow. The red kids were encouraged to feel superior to the others.
My handwriting used to be massive. I used to write in my composition book about our visits to……I used to set up one of those portable dinner trays that were so popular for TV dinners in the 60’s. I sat on my bed at my makeshift desk and practice writing with my left hand….writing backwards….upside down…I enjoyed exerting mental control over the muscles that controlled the pen in my hand.
As a teen I wrote pages and pages of what I did on a day to day basis. Evidently…not much.
When the devilishly handsome Mr Graham swept into my rampant English class and swirled his loopy name across the green blackboard, I sat up and paid attention. I sat on my bed surrounded by pot plants in macramé baskets, assorted shades of Revlon nail polishes, with Simon and Garfunkel playing ….Are you going to Scarborough Fair… and practice forming the romantic loops of his handwriting. His handwriting became mine....replicated down to the tiniest detail.
During my busy early twenties I still found time to record details of places I went to, clothes I wore and up to date progress reports on the status of my relationships. But most importantly…my feelings. Only one boyfriend warranted the tireless recording of entire dialogue exchanges, so much so, I often had to staple extra pages added onto the bottom of my diary and carefully fold them up.
When my children started school my handwriting regressed to forming clearly formed and spaced out letters. I would write notes on their paper lunch bags so a little part of Mummy was with them at lunch time.
I sat on the floor in Mums room. Piles of knitting books dating back to the sixties to the present day, lay on the floor. I couldn’t decide which ones to get rid of. Every one I opened up had tiny references written in Mums handwriting. The beautiful smocking magazines had bookmarked pages with my daughters name. She made that gorgeous dress….she was intending to make this one.
Looking through her bedside drawer I found notebooks with Chinese takeaway orders.
Amongst the thousands of balls of baby wool, I found the little paper wrappers that secure the individual balls. On them, Mum had recorded the kids measurements for an upcoming hand knitted jumper…
Length 36 cm
Sleeve 42 cm
I am sentimental. I can’t throw these little pieces of Mum out. I can’t throw out the kids art, letters and cards they’ve given me. I still have my old diaries. I treasure the love letters Dad wrote to Mum when they were courting. Now computers are the norm, what will become of those treasured handwritten messages. Will everything remain in our email inboxes…..forgotten within the metal confines of a hard drive or abbreviated to the maximum in text messages on our phones. LOL…..LMAO…..OMG….WTF…; )