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Name Piece

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My mom says my handwriting is sloppier than a second grader’s. Teachers would hand back papers and say, “you need to write neater.” I was sometimes even downgraded on projects and assignments. Teachers would say, “Rewrite this. It’s too messy.” It’s not like I wasn’t trying to write better. It was like my right hand had a mind of its own and didn’t want to make the neat handwriting. I’d write as slowly as I could to make sure it was legible.

But when it came to writing my signature, there came a sigh of relief. Because most signatures are just a quick scribble, no one cares how it looks. Finally, it didn’t matter how bad my handwriting was. But then I thought how a signature shows who I am. It defines me because I’m always going to be myself. Jacqueline will never be written as something other than that name. It is my symbol.

But I didn’t like how my symbol looked. After all, Jacqueline S., a longer name, is not the easiest to sign. Every time I touched that pen to the line to write my name, that stupid J gave me trouble. Anyone who watched me sign my name would think, “Yikes! She can’t even write her own name.” Wishing I could just call them out on the weird looks they were giving me I’d think, “Alright, I know I have issues with it, but COME ON! It’s a signature, don’t take it so seriously!” Though I did wish my J didn’t look like someone who was blind wrote it.

My mom’s name also starts with a J. I started to pay attention to the way she made the first letter of her name bigger than the rest and the way she made the circular shape that created the top part of a cursive J and then the loop that drops down and back up to finish it. I liked the way she did this. Soon I could make a capital cursive J that looked just like hers. With pleasure, I began doing the same with the S, making the first letters bigger than the rest.

I soon had a signature. I liked how it showed the messiness of my handwriting. It is a symbol of me and it doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect. The big J and the big S look good to me. It’s mine. That’s all that matters.





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