Yesterday was my very first calligraphy class. I’ve bought countless books and “do it yourself” kits that are apparently useful in learning, but either they don’t work, I’m not smart enough, or I’m too spastic to learn with them. Last time I tried, I got ink all over someone else’s tablecloth (which I stained… and moved a flowerpot over) because I couldn’t figure out how to assemble the pen. I assume that with adult supervision, I am bound to get it right this time.
The class is comprised of about 8 women (surprised?) and the instructor. It’s held in a junior high, so when the instructor handed out the templates for us to trace over with our pencils as well as a guide identifying the stroke sequence, I felt like I was in elementary school learning how to write again. I’m sure it was kind of cute in a way… 8 grown women huddled over child sized desks with their tounges hanging out of their mouths as they jammed a pencil into a piece of paper to slowly form a letter A. Needless to say, class was INTENSE.
And actually, my back hurt like a bitch by the time the hour and a half class was up. Calligraphy requires your arm and the paper to move, not your wrist, so it’s a little more labor intensive than just scribbling crap out on a piece of paper. I also had to hold the pencil differently than I typically do (instead of resting it on the ring finger, it rests on the middle finger) so my finger got all cramped, too. AND, if that weren’t enough, making conversation was apparently the cardinal sin in there because nobody would talk. Nobody. And I tried to talk to the lady next to me, but I was shot down. You would think that a room full of women would have no shortage of discussion. So I did a fair share of letter tracing and spelling out words like “mop” and “bob” and “bad” in silence.
So because I had to write out everything in pencil for day one so we could practice how to write the letters, a lot of my letters look on par with the handwriting of a child. I’m hoping that once the fancy pen stuff comes out with differing thicknesses throughout the letter, it will look awesome. Until then, I am forced to be satisfied with being dissatisfied (if that made sense… I was trying to be clever… ).
And people in the office that have caught wind of my new skill-in-progress keep asking me what I plan to use calligraphy for. I honestly just thought it would be cool to know because I think it’s gorgeous. I also had it in my head that I would try to whore out my calligraphy skills on craigslist to make a little cash on the side. I also mentioned that it would be useful to make my own wedding invitations for my future wedding, but then they all started teasing me and all of woman-kind saying that all of our lives revolve around the wedding day. I tried to defend us women, I really did, but I didn’t know what to say. It was one of those things where someone makes fun of you, and you think of the perfect comeback…. about 20 minutes too late. And by then the moment is gone. You look like an idiot. Except I still haven’t thought of the perfect comeback. I still have no idea what to say.
The instructor actually gave us homework… to practice half an hour a day and turn in three sheets completely filled with letters. I probably should have made “complete all homework assignments” one of my February resolutions.