THE BLOG

Penmanslip

11/17/2011 09:02 am ET

I attended a couple's baby shower on Sunday. But that's not why I'm blogging.

Today I sat down to compose a "thank you" note to the couple who hosted the event. I considered blowing off this traditional act of etiquette. I mean, who even mails those anymore? But then I instantly felt my mother's fingernails digging into the back of my neck. People think I'm polite for acknowledging their hosting duties. Not at all. I'm simply still scared of my mommy.

Anyways, I pulled out my good stationery and began to handwrite the letter. The pen felt clumsy in my hand, as though I was trying to write lefty. I misspelled three words in the first sentence; not because I goofed on the correct letter order, but because my hand refused to do what I wanted it to do. I balled up the paper. Two new paragraphs later, that sheet had joined its brother in the bin. Visions of Greg Brady's bedroom filled my head.

Thankfully, I managed to complete my third attempt. With a grunt of accomplishment, I re-read my work. That is, I tried to decipher my work. I gasped in horror. "Illegible" fails to capture the carnage. A Bobblehead Doll could've produced neater script after a few Red Bulls.

What the hell happened to the quality penmanship that once earned me "1's" on grammar school report cards???

Maybe I'm alone in my need for the gray practice paper with the fat dotted-line indicating the upper limit for lower case letters. Or has our constant typing of emails and text messages rendered the physical act of writing obsolete?

Last month, I took a break from a ski trip to phone interview with a TV producer regarding my possibly hosting a project he's developing. Three times during our call he referenced a hit show on the Travel Channel. I'd never heard of the program, so I wrote down and underlined the title on The Westin's notepad.

When I returned home a few days later, I remembered the producer's comments about the other show. I pulled out the notepad to get the title so I could watch it on-line. Manifold. What the hell is "Manifold?" I wracked my brain. I googled. Nada. Too embarrassed to call the guy and ask, "Uh...do you have any idea what Manifold means?" I just let the topic slide and hoped it wouldn't bite me in the ass.

We scheduled another call for Thursday March 12th. Wednesday night he sent me an email. "I strongly suggest you check out a few episodes of MAN v. FOOD prior to our call..."

I pulled out the hotel notepad again. Held it close to my eyes. Under no circumstances would any English-speaking person read, "MAN v. FOOD."

In spite of my missteps, I got the pilot! Tomorrow I need to write the casting director a "thank you" note.

I mean, type her a note.