Trina Machacek: Pen Man Ship
Some time ago, a few friends and I were putting together a soiree, pronounced “swah-ray.” Fancy smanchie, right? OK, it was just a party. Thought I would get more sympathy for the following story if I approached you with some high-class stuff. I am not high-brow or high class. In some places, really fun places, I may be high faluting, though. That is for another time. Today, let me talk of an important section of party planning: invitations.
Big doings like weddings and graduations call for preprinted invitations. All golden or silvery. Raised lettering in a swirling font that promises an evening to remember. Invitations with little pieces of tissue inserted as to not disturb the printing or smudge dates and times, lest the invited guests have trouble interpreting the information conveyed within the folded heavy cardstock invite. All very shi-shi and absolutely has its place in the party/celebration world. Then, there are the things that I am more in tune with…
At a conference sometime in my past, I heard a man telling of signing papers. I have, like I’m betting you have, signed more papers than you can shake a stick at, whatever that means! This man said something that has stuck with me for a long time. He said that your signature, the way you sign something, should always show you are confident, sure of yourself and that you are proud of who you are. In saying that, he added that when you sign your name, you should always strive to write legibly showing whoever reads that paper, note or letter that you were there and were happy and confident in signing. As a last effort, to get his point across, he said something along the lines of, “Write your name like your mom wrote it when you were born, or like she was going to read it. After all, she gave that special name to you.” How cool is that to think about each time you write your name? Yes, but! Yes, a scribbled “but.” But who has the time to write perfectly all the time?
Back to this invitation story. My friends and I set out to fill in and send a few invites to this party we were planning. Somewhere along the way, the list grew and grew. The final list totaled 164! One hundred and 64 times to write time, place, event, RSVP directions. One hundred and 64 envelopes to address. I’m not complaining, mind you. This was a labor of love, an event we were all looking forward to. It got sillier and sillier as we wrote. You sit down and try writing “Saturday, March 15 at 3:30 p.m.” 164 times. And RSVP by text or call with a phone number, including the area code. Let alone the address of the event. The first 53 looked OK. That next 53 took some hits. Some scribbles were seen in the pile. The last stack even had some little notes of “sorry for the boo-boos!” written next to the mistakes. Now let me tell you why I think this is perfectly acceptable.
Some would think that it is poor manners or bad form to send the invitations with mistakes. Each one should be perfect and precise. That’s just not the way I roll. I have a few friends who send to me, and I send to them, handwritten letters. Yes, we do e-mail, text, IM and all that. But to get a handwritten letter is still something that makes my heart flutter at the mailbox. It gives me pause to see that someone I know has taken the time to sit down putting pen or pencil to paper and create something just to me. That is how I saw those invitations. They are a reflection of who I am, not perfect, just someone that wants the receiver to come to the party and have some fun. As much fun as it was writing, addressing and sending you that invite.
That being said we all have handwriting that is fast, sometimes furious and might even be easier to read if held up to a mirror. Ha, ha. Even my wonderful pen pal that types letters and has boo-boos and marks and sometimes extra handwritten notes. They all still have their names at the bottom written in their own handwriting. That’s what makes them special and keepers. So, whether you know it or not, when you send or receive something written, you should enjoy the sail on that pen-man-ship wherever that letter or invitation takes you.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nev. Find her on Facebook, Instagram or at email@example.com. Really!