I love men. In all their hairy, utilitarian, sometimes balding, honest, lumpy, sweet yet apelike splendor. Men rock.
But I also have this other love in all its black and white and retro glory.
I love typewriters so much, I would probably sleep with one if it weren’t for that damn bell. Plus, my husband might not like it. It would take up too much room and compete with our ever-present BED BUDDY™ in terms of desirability.
(Get your mind out of the gutter–it’s a heating pad for goodness sake.)
But it wasn’t always this way. Our backs and joints didn’t always ache–my bad.
Back to the typewriter and my love affair with it.
I didn’t always love the typewriter. In fact, I hated it. It was the bane of my existence for many years.
Back in the day, high school students were encouraged to take a typing class. Especially females.
Some of my classmates were stellar at typing with their eyes on the textbook and not on their hands. They breezed through class exercises. Miss Hornblatt fawned over them as models to the rest of us who typed like we had suddenly found claws at the end of our wrists.
Hell, I shouldn’t have been surprised. I took five years of compulsory piano lessons, and I can’t play to save my life. My fingers just didn’t want to roam freely over keys.
But I was going to college. I didn’t need no stinking typewriter.
Or so I thought.
Of course, I needed to type. All papers had to be typed, and I was so bad at it, I had to begin my research papers immediately to allow myself at least a week to hunt and peck my way through the typing of my final paper.
There was even a case where I had to go to battle with my Health teacher for the “D” she gave me on a paper. She complained about the typing and not the content. Of course, I wasn’t alone in this showdown. My older sister ripped the adjunct professor a new ass on my behalf and the paper was reevaluated. Guess she liked her gig and didn’t want any complaints to the department head or the dean.
And then I moved to California, completed a college internship and independent study, received my diploma from Towson University in the mail, and hit the job market.
It was during the Carter administration and there were no jobs in communications for women–except for secretarial work.
If I wanted to eat and pay my rent, I had to learn to type. And fast.
And so, I bullshitted my way through interviews and typing tests to become gainfully employed.
But things are never that easy. After working a few other jobs, I ended up at a company where the woman in accounting (the owner’s mother and the only other female employed in the company) would go through my garbage at night to see how much correcting tape I used. I shit you not.
The only reason I got that job in the first place is that nosy-garbage picking mother was married to the general manager who hired me for my “beautiful blue eyes.” And yes, he said that out loud. And I was okay with it. He protected me and my bad typing.
I stayed at that job until I moved back east, where I had to bullshit my way into other secretarial jobs until I went back to school to earn the credits I needed to become a certified English teacher–hey, women who were not strong in math and science had few opportunities back then.
So why do I love the typewriter if typing was such a struggle for me?
I love the typewriter because I finally conquered it. I can type like lightning. And so, to me, the typewriter represents persistence and determination.
Plus, as a writer, there’s just something romantic about them. Even though I write on a computer these days, I’m still using the same skill set.
And skills are always sexy. Just like men.
Thanks for reading! XOXO
Susan J. Anderson
Foxy Writer Chick