Something happened this week that gave me a lot to ponder. I've been ruminating on it for days.
In case you missed it, police executed a search warrant on my Wellington apartment this week.
They rifled through my receipts drawer, which I didn't mind too much because it reminded my husband to take the hundreds of bits of paper to the accountant as I'd asked.
They rifled through the recipes and warranties drawer, turned it all over and I was quite pleased. I'd forgotten that chicken dish. It must have got lost at the bottom.
Then they rifled through my bedside drawer. That's where I think they found the agreement I'd signed with the storage company.
At least they found something, because I was worried they were going to spend all that time on their hands and knees going through tiny dockets from the dairy and find nothing.
I couldn't for the life of me think of any handwriting samples in any drawer in that apartment.
And that's what I've been worried about on a semi-existential level: am I neglecting my penmanship?
Apart from taking notes as a journalist, which are deliberately as messy as possible to avoid unwanted readers deciphering my scribbles, I barely write anything.
I remember the days of learning penmanship, forming every letter exactly the same as my mum does.
My woeful impersonation of my mum's pretty wiggly letters looks like something she would do when high on drugs, immediately after life-saving surgery, on her right arm.
Nowadays, everything is done on my laptop, tablet or cellphone. Even the grocery list. I email that to myself on the way to the supermarket.
One of my colleagues hasn't written in so long that she has lost the pen-callous on her right middle finger, and by the end of her Christmas card marathon she has a cut where the nail on another finger has dug into the flesh.
I've neglected my penmanship so badly that I'm slightly embarrassed at the quality of the writing the police are analysing.
Of even more concern is what my squiggles will tell them about my personality.
According to the - very dubious - pseudo-science of graphology, the investigating officers will by now know I love attention. That's what they will learn from my big lettering.
However, I do often suddenly switch to very small lettering, which indicates shyness, so the police have probably come to the conclusion that I have a split personality.
The wide spacing between my letters will tell them I enjoy freedom and don't like crowds or confined spaces. Small rooms aren't good for me.
The way I form my L indicates I'm relaxed, and the way I form my E shows I like new experiences, both of which are quite handy personality traits at this juncture in my life.
Also, the big base I give my cursive S is apparently a strong warning that I'm not following my heart in my career and that I should immediately quit my job and do something else. The thought had occurred to me, too.
Speaking of jobs, there are some unintended consequences of our aversion to putting pen to paper.
If there's no handwriting to analyse, what becomes of the people who have made a career out of analysing handwriting?
And what of the future of police investigations? Handwriting recognition is already difficult but it gets even harder and less conclusive the fewer samples the police have to work with.
So, I've resolved to write more.
These past few days, I've been practising my penmanship. If you want to see how it's coming along, I'll send you a copy of my handwriting. All you need to do is ask.
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