Monday, January 12, 2009

My Writing Achilles Heel

I feel compelled to post. The post I have been working on is not finished though. And dare I bore you all with the details of my most recent workout? I should say not. Breathe a sigh of relief! I will say that I was very grateful when George came home today with a two week free pass to the Y for me! They are sorting out the details in our request for a membership scholarship, but in the meantime were gracious enough to give us a pass! This is fantastic because the short days and the cold were really hindering my commitment to mileage. Now I can run in the warm indoors well after dark! No worries though, I am staying well away from the accursed elliptical machine!  This is a different Y from my previous one, and it is not as cozy and friendly feeling at first meeting. But I am sure we will be good friends in no time. 

Wow, a lot of exclamation points in that last paragraph huh? And now, that sentence was a fragment. But it's how I would say it. I like to keep my "voice" when I write. I have a hard time with thank you notes though. When I write a thank you note, I find myself using lofty words and sounding like a Jane Austen wannabe. It is revealing though; it shows I don't have strong thanking skills. I gush. I mean, I am the classic Southern sorority girl when it comes to receiving anything. "Awww, aren't you sweet?!" " Thank you so much!" It's all in the inflection and the nonverbals. (And evidently, nonverbals is not a word. It is now.) But one cannot write a thoughtful and sincere letter using these type of expressions. It is ridiculous. I'm sure if I had a video tape of me singing thank yous to people, I would be completely embarrassed. And besides, how would one pen such nonsense? You can't write "delighted squeal" or "sheepish, smiley face contortion that also indicates gratitude and admiration" like stage direction. 

Another thank you note problem is vocabulary. I don't like to say "thank" again and again. So I mix it up. I usually throw in a "grateful" or an "appreciate," but then I'm at a loss. So I use different forms of the word, "thankful," "gratitude," "appreciated," "appreciative." I also struggle with another word for "generous." That's another time where you have to throw in the forms of the word, "generosity," "kind," "kindness," "thoughtful," "thoughtfulness." "Bountiful," "abundant," and "benevolent" just feel over the top. Who says those words anymore? I would feel like Mr. Collins (of Pride and Prejudice) or Anne of Green Gables or something (she is pretty annoying, you have to admit). But just about every time I write a thank you note, it starts coming on, "La la la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la la la, la la la la la, la la la la la, you've been so kind and generous, I don't know how you keep on giving. For your kindness I'm in debt to you." And you can't get those la's out of your head! The rest of the lyrics are great; I just always feel like I'm plagiarizing! 

So now, when you get a thank you note from me, you will not take it sincerely because I have let you in on my struggle for words and originality! But please believe that I am thankful, grateful, and appreciative, for all of your kindness, generosity, and thoughtfulness, even if I wrote the same thing last time and to everyone else every other time. Or maybe I should just burn "Kind and Generous" on a bunch of discs and mail a copy out every time I want to thank someone? Or, I could just play the odds that everyone has forgotten that song by now and copy them word for word. Nah, I'll keep going with my attempts to be genuine in spite of a poor vocabulary and an unfortunate inability to forget lyrics (and la's!) of a song released over ten years ago.

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