My grandparents had an old typewriter I loved to set up in their living room, pulling off the dustcover with a flourish on lazy summer days. In fifth grade, well before the age of smartphones and tablets or even personal computers, my typing skills weren’t exactly stellar. It took me forever to type even the simplest of sentences, and I constantly debated carriage returns so I wouldn’t run out of room on a line (the horror!).
It was fun, and I wrote all sorts of short stories — mostly about a bunny family or a tornado ripping through a small town (watching too much “Twister”). I’m pretty sure some “Star Wars” and Luke Skywalker fan fiction was sprinkled in there, too. But being a lifelong perfectionist, having to cover up my mistakes with correction fluid was intolerable.
Intolerable. And messy.
Friends, I was the kid who could not stand cross-outs and misspelled words in her assignments — yet refused to write in pencil. To this day, I’m a gel pen girl all the way. I was OCD enough to rewrite any essay littered with mistakes, carefully forming the letters until it was absolutely crisp . . . even if it took all afternoon. Rough drafts all the way.
I wrote on college-ruled paper, refusing to touch the wide-ruled stuff. I hated my handwriting until middle school, when I began to practice and practice and practice creating words and sentences until they were pretty and perfect, just the way I wanted to be.
I haven’t changed much.
Though I loved the look and feel of that old typewriter with its thin, unmarred pages, it was a potential disaster zone of incorrect punctuation and unclean sentences. Living in the digital age, I love the ease with which I can crank out thoughts on a “page” — or, um, Word document — to be shared in a blog post, on Instagram, in a Facebook post. I love the instantaneous connection of Twitter, the community we’ve built here.
But there’s something nostalgic and romantic about the humble typewriter, isn’t there? Out at a giant antiques store with my mom and sister last weekend, we found tons of them on side tables in vendors’ booths. The one at top was a favorite — weathered, a little dusty, but able to produce bold words again.
When Spence and I have the space, I’m getting one.
Maybe it’ll even be pink.