creators.com opinion web
Conservative Opinion General Opinion
Lenore Skenazy
Lenore Skenazy
15 Jan 2015
Don't Let This Happen to YOU!

It always goes something like this: "Please Read! Your Safety Matters!" And it's an email or Facebook post … Read More.

8 Jan 2015
A Parenting Lesson From a Plane Crash

No one can believe the bravery and pluck of 7-year-old Sailor Gutzler, the little girl who survived a crash … Read More.

1 Jan 2015
Resolutions I Will Keep (Possibly)

Three hundred sixty-five days is a long time. Reeeeeeeeally long if you have just resolved to exercise, cook … Read More.

The Writing on the Hand

Comment

Teleprompter vs. hand. It's not a debate that got a lot of attention until last week, when, in a remarkable confluence of events, no sooner had Sarah Palin dissed President Obama as a "charismatic guy with a teleprompter" than she was caught reading notes off her hand in a Q-and-A session at the Tea Party convention.

The words she'd palm printed? "Energy." "Tax cuts." And, most importantly, "Lift American spirits" — which she did. At least, she lifted mine, because finally a hand scribbler has made it to the national stage.

Yes, I, too, scribble notes on my hand, and for too long my people have been covered in shame (and ink). Ridiculed as "fifth-graders," "dum-dums" and even "cheaters," we are none of the above. Well, except for some actual fifth-graders, of course. And some cheaters. My point is: You can be smart and grown-up and still write on your hand.

"I encourage my students to do this!" says proud hand scribe Melissa Hart, a journalism professor at the University of Oregon. "I really do believe writers get their best ideas when they're exercising or taking a shower." That's why she jogs with a pen in her ponytail and keeps wash-off crayons in the tub.

"Good ideas are like fish; they'll get away," says Josef Brandenburg, a fitness guru. Write them on your hand and they don't immediately disappear.

They might smear, however, which is why a lot of serious self-writers have honed their techniques. Jewelry designer Jenn Dewey draws her ideas with fine-tip markers so they'll last through a hand wash or two. Those with sweaty palms often write on their wrists instead. (And you can hide whatever's there with a cuff or watchband.) There are even those who keep their hands completely clean and write on the sides of their fingers.

Hope they don't eat a lot of KFC.

Novelist Mark McLaughlin is one of them.

Pondering Palin's palm, he said, "I can't call her an ignoramus because I do the same thing. At least she abundantly realizes she has a problem and she's dealing with it."

Commentators have suggested her real problem is stupidity: Anyone who can't remember three things about America is too dumb to run it. But whether you are pro- or anti-Palin, you have to admit it's harder to talk off the cuff (so to speak) than it is to read aloud a whole speech you meticulously wrote out beforehand. (Also so to speak.)

"I'm not a Palin fan, but at the same time, she is human and needs to remember stuff. I don't see what the problem is," says Laura Spaventa, a recent college grad whose guidance counselor told her to stop writing on her hand if she wanted to find a job.

So she quit for a while. But now that she's employed, she's inky again. And there are, indeed, some downsides. Working as an editorial assistant, Spaventa jots notes on her hand to remember what she has to edit next. One day, before she moved out of her parents' home, she was working on a sex story and wrote "SEX!" on her palm. She slept with her cheek on her hand. When she went down to breakfast, her parents demanded, "What is going on?!"

She looked in the mirror. And moved out soon.

The fact is: Hands are so handy they even have an adjective named after them. Those of us who write on them don't waste paper and don't lose our notes (usually). If we need a little help remembering things — "buy milk," "save the economy" — please don't point fingers.

Unless they have the answers on them.

Lenore Skenazy is the author of "Who's the Blonde That Married What's-His-Name? The Ultimate Tip-of-the-Tongue Test of Everything You Know You Know — But Can't Remember Right Now" and "Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry." To find out more about Lenore Skenazy (lskenazy@yahoo.com) and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM



Comments

1 Comments | Post Comment
I use an envelope and thus avoid having to dodge the space between fingers (and thumb, which is a rule of).
Comment: #1
Posted by: BoBraxton
Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:55 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Lenore Skenazy
Jan. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Authorís Podcast
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 26 Jan 2015
Roger Simon
Roger SimonUpdated 24 Jan 2015
Mark Shields
Mark ShieldsUpdated 24 Jan 2015

2 Feb 2012 Living in the Sprawl

5 Jan 2012 What the Well-Dressed Religious Fanatic Will Be Wearing

17 Jul 2008 42 Ways To Tell We're Tanking