You'd think the dyslexic member of our family would be the one whose writing required deciphering. While the German does come out with some interesting new vocabulary when speaking, and although he does create unique spellings for many words, it doesn't normally take much effort to figure out what he has written.
My Lovely Wife, on the other hand, who suffers from no learning challenge of which I have been made aware, seems incapable these days of scribing a single legible sentence.
By her way of thinking, her penmanship is clear and concise, but that doesn't seem to help the rest of us too much. We struggle and squint like we're trying to figure out one of those puzzles from the funny papers. You know the kind where the letters are all jumbled up and you have to figure out which letter is used in place of whatever other letter? Think that, only indecipherable.
Her most egregious offenses appear on the weekly shopping list.
"What does this say?" I frequently ask, pointing at a series of unrelated squiggles on the magnetic notepad stuck to the side of the kitchen refrigerator.
"That says grape juice," she explains, as if I am silly for even raising the question.
Because no matter how long I stare at the words, the best I can come away with is "Care Jews."
I'm not sure if those are anything like Care Bears, or if there is some important issue My Lovely Wife wants the world's Jewish population to take more seriously, but there was no way I was getting grape juice out of that hieroglyph.
It wasn't always this way.
Twenty years ago, when we first began dating, I could read her writing without any trouble. It's as if the English alphabet ceased to exist sometime within the past few years. Probably not all at once, but gradually and unnoticeably over time, until all of a sudden it became impossible to discern. One day I was able to pick up a note in her handwriting and easily read "Call your Father back" and the next day that same message seemed to say something more like "Growl soy Feather dank."
As her handwriting continues to decline in legibility, perhaps my premature senility might make the entire matter a non-issue. She can happily jot down all the meaningless scribbles she wants, and I can pretend they mean whatever I want them to mean.
For instance, that might not be "dry dog food" scrawled haphazardly at the top of the grocery list. Maybe it's My Lovely Wife saying "I love you."
Works for me.
© 2013 Mark Feggeler