TDG: Really

Being confronted by a large, white faux sheet of typing paper is daunting.   Almost as bad as being faced with the real sheet of paper on an actual typewriter.  Am I showing my age that I even remember such things?  I remember loading a sheet of paper into a typewriter, and clickity-clacking my way through page after page of onion skin paper until I finished.  Do
you remember onion skin paper?  Do you remember carbon paper?  Hell, do you
remember white-out?  Do they even still make white-out?

Maybe I’m romanticizing this a bit, but I think staring at the computer screen– in its own way– may be more difficult than writing used to be.  I’m more inclined to be put into a hypnotic trance by that obnoxious little blinking vertical cursor than I ever was by a blank sheet of paper.  Is it because I know that I’ll just type, then delete, then type, then delete?    Then again, it could be that the last time I
used a typewriter– I mean really used one, it was 1993.  In case you’re wondering, it was a research paper on Lord Alfred Tennyson for my senior English class.  And I know you were wondering.  That paper had footnotes.  On a typewriter.  Seriously.

I also walked uphill in the snow to and from school.


Okay, so not really about the snow thing.  There was a hill, though.  And that  paper did have footnotes.  It was a pivotal paper.


I suppose what I’m saying here is that back in the day what I wrote seemed to have a little more permanence.  Yeah, I had to do my own spell-checking, and
my fingers were generally covered in white-out– at least until I got the self-correcting tape replaced on my electric typewriter– but I was far less likely to crinkle those hard-earned pages into a little ball than I am to click the little x in the upper right hand corner of my flat-screened computer monitor without hitting the save button first.

That’s it.  Or maybe it isn’t.



2 responses to “TDG: Really

  1. i do remember carbon paper, but not nearly as fondly as i remember mimeographs. At times, i can still smell their purpley inky goodness…

    • I know exactly what you’re talking about. When I first started teaching, I used a mimeograph machine for all of my grammar worksheets. It’d take days to get the ink off of your fingers.

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