Writing Thank-You Cards When You Have the Worst Penmanship Ever / by Vanessa Larkey

Does that headline seem like a hyperbole? Well, it's not. 

Here are some actual words said by real people that have been used to describe my writing:

- ransom-notey 

- chicken scratch

- unintelligible 

Still not convinced? I've provided a sample. 

 A to-do list that only I can understand. 

A to-do list that only I can understand. 

My penmanship was always a source of embarrassment. And it's not for lack of trying, either. I spent much of my early elementary school career trying to perfect the craft, to little success. Teachers would complain, and I always felt like I was unfairly singled out. I mean, some boys in the class had horrendous writing -- why weren't they forced to rewrite their assignments? Classic gender role stereotypes at play, perhaps? 

In grade 7 when it was announced we were to start submitting typed essays, no one breathed a bigger sigh of relief than me.  Times New Roman Font size 12 double spaced? No problem! I started using the computer and never looked back. 


Handwritten cards are a big part of the wedding process.

Everyone loves receiving a beautifully crafted letter by someone (read: usually the female in the relationship) with graceful penmanship. Knowing that I would be unable to deliver made me anxious and upset, but only for a few hours. I mean, how much time can one spend fretting about their fine motor skills? Instead, I decided to embrace my poor penmanship skills as an act of feminism.

So what if it's messy? It's who am and it's not changing. So! If you receive a letter in the mail from me, don't look at my penmanship and wonder what went wrong, look at it as a letter from someone who is breaking down traditional gender norms. I'm a lady with messy writing, and proud of it!