Note to self: Write it down |

Tracy Lee Curtis is a humorist, writer and speaker. She writes family humor for the Charlotte Observer. Her column appears each Sunday.
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Note to self: Write it down

By ObserverTracy on 07/20/10 12:00

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I used to love to pass notes in class. I liked passing them, and I liked getting them. And after I got out of school I liked watching other people pass them.

Like on "The West Wing." Leo's secretary walks into his office, her eyes bulging, as she hands over an ominous message on folded paper, prompting Leo to move quickly into the president's office. He hands the note to Martin Sheen, who quickly reads it. And then in one swift motion he crumples it up while pulling off his glasses and shoving the note into his pocket. Titillating.

And don't even get me started on the Jane Austen movies. All those notes and letters flying around between sisters, neighbors and lovers. Just leaves me in a tiz.

So imagine my delight when I arrive at a girlfriend's cookout to find that she is sick in bed and has slipped a note to her son, to be passed on to her husband, about what to do for the party. Oooh, what does it say?

"Cover table with plaid tablecloth. Put out paper plates, forks, napkins. Green Pea salad in fridge. Watermelon in garage fridge. Chicken and biscuits on stove. Brownies in oven. Use silver serving spoons - NO PLASTIC."

Not so much titillating as it is uptight. But I like the way she thinks. Organize your thoughts, get it on paper and deliver the message. Bring back note-passing. Say what you want to say and eliminate any chance of a miscommunication.

This is good because it also gives me the opportunity to cut out the middle man. Me. Do all your talking-back to the messenger, and leave me out of it.

I write my first note. I feel as giddy as Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in "Sense and Sensibility," writing to her dear sweet Willoughby. I'm not professing important matters of the heart, although these are important matters of the home.

"Give this to your brother," I tell my youngest. He gallops off, on his long journey to the second floor bedroom to deliver the message.

To my surprise, he returns moments later. With a note for me. And sadly, as it was with Miss Dashwood, my note was not well received. Under my original note "make your bed" are the words "your weerd."

Talking-back in writing is one thing, but poor spelling is unacceptable. I just want to make my point. And leave no room for response. And clearly a messenger cannot be involved. Wait a minute. We have that. It's called a Post-It.

Not exactly what I had in mind, but I'm sure some mom came up with it. Some Jane Austen-loving former note-passer, who knew it was the only way. A simple note. That you don't even have to pass. Just stick. And while I miss the excitement of the folded note, I know this is the way to go. Makes perfect sense.

And it's oh, so sensible.

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