The Importance of a Typewriter

I’m ancient. My daughter doesn’t know what a typewriter is. I make my living writing and she doesn’t know what a typewriter is. How could this happen?

So, I explained that you put paper in a machine and wrote letters and things on a piece of paper, pushing the keys — like you do on a computer.

She nods, knowingly, and says, “So that’s how you sent emails to people when you were a kid?”


So, I tell my mother this tale, and she tells me that my life is more intertwined with typing than I ever realized…She says that if she didn’t type well, I’d not be here.

When I was little she typed over 120 wpm — on a MANUAL typewriter. I remember watching her type. I’d stand on my tiptoes and watch the blur that was her fingers.

As I struggled in high school to learn to type — she didn’t understand the problem. I struggled and even got a “c” in typing one term — worse than I did in Trig, Chemistry and Computer Science — combined. Typing class kicked my butt!

So, it’s ironic that I didn’t pursue another venue. Odd that I love to write, love computers, love to type my thoughts and finally surpassed the wpm barrier to type quickly. My kids and hubby think I fly on the keyboard, but they never saw my mother type on that old manual!

Alexzandria’s typewriter ignorance bothers me more than her record-player ignorance bothers Wayne. (And it really bothered him when she compared them to a CD.) Guess THAT made him feel old. Bwhahaha!

So I tell Mom, and explain that it bothers me to be a writer and to have a daughter that doesn’t even know about something that’s such a big part of my identity.

This is when she tells me that it’s bigger a part of who I am than I know.

She says that my father started dating her because of her typing… something about typing up his college papers. I dunno if that’s true or not, but knowing Pops, I don’t doubt it. (I’ve seen his penmanship!)

But then she adds… “Yup, If it weren’t for my typing skills, you would have been a rotten egg and a dried up sperm.” Then she fell out laughing.

My mother!!! And she’s the prim and proper one in the family!

Sometimes, she says things that just leave my mouth all agape. I think that’s the intention — I’d be willing to bet on it.

When I asked, my father swore the attraction had NOTHING to do with her typing. And they both giggle and exchange glances. And I had the sudden urge to leave the room.

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