DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it all right if my husband takes responsibility for sending out our handwritten thank-you notes, and uses the opportunity to practice his handwriting (which may shock some recipients)?
When he must hand-write formal or business notes, I pen them for him because it would obviously be improper if he wrote in his own script, which looks like it was written by a kindergartner. But is it all right to subject recipients of personal thank-you notes to his atrocious, but legible, handwriting?
He knows he needs practice and has no objection to writing them. There’s no need to feel embarrassed about these notes, right? Using them for him to practice something he’s wobbly at, but I could do properly, doesn’t devalue them in any way? I’m proud of him for trying to better himself.
GENTLE READER: That’s good, because it will help soothe you when you find that your husband’s scribbles are received with more praise than are your own beautifully written efforts.
This is because of the outrageous, but unfortunately not fully outdated, notion that married gentlemen are not responsible for any social correspondence, not even to thank people for shared presents. Your husband’s awkward handwriting will be considered touching, whereas if you wrote like that, it would be seen as a sign of ignorance.
Miss Manners trusts that his writing will improve. She wishes that she could say the same of social attitudes.