The Girl In The (Analog) Cafe**

Author’s Note: Credit for this post goes to my beloved husband. He thinks so clearly in the morning (unlike myself) and doesn’t mind answering “Honey what should I write about on my blog today?” before he’s had a shower and breakfast. Thanks sweetheart, I owe you one.

     During the football season when Bill is working late or on the road, I often find myself dining alone, and because of this I spend a lot of time writing in public. By writing, I mean finding an inconspicuous place in the Barnes and Noble cafe, Panera Bread or The Black Sheep Deli, pulling out a notebook and putting pen to paper. I look somewhat out of place among the college kids who are attached to their laptops and tablet computers by the invisible umbilical cord that is free wi-fi, but most of the time people hardly notice my old-school approach. If they do, they are either too polite or too stymied by my actions to comment; I never got any comments until last week, anyway. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, thanks to the brilliance of whoever scheduled a game for the following Friday, my husband had to attend a team dinner. Knowing he’d be eating well, I decided to stop at Panera on my way home from work for a sandwich.  As I’ve been trying to participate in  BlogHer’s November blog-post-a-day challenge, I took a notepad in with me and scribbled what eventually became the post Solidarity. I didn’t think much about it, but I was using my red Lamy Al-Star and a black Rhodia Dotweb, so my writing looked pretty sharp, even if the words were being less than cooperative. As is the case, when I write I tend to space out while I’m thinking, and sometimes I watch people for inspiration. As I was doing this, my eyes came to rest on a sweet little boy in a wheelchair who was with his grandmother. I quickly looked away out of respect for the boy, but a little while later, after my sandwich was finished and I was still scribbling, his grandmother asked me to watch their stuff while she took him to the bathroom. When she returned she told me “I’m so glad to see someone still using pen and paper like I do.” We chatted briefly about our mutual love of stationery and I reassured her that there are still plenty of analog people out there, committing our hearts to paper. At the expense of sounding like a snob, I have no need to be anything other than an analog creator. For reasons I can’t explain, I just can’t think as well when I type, plus the distractions of the Internet would keep me from getting anything done if I tried to write directly to my blog. Beyond that, the intangibles of writing by hand keep me analog as well. There’s something that is so peaceful about the feeling of my pen gliding across a smooth sheet of paper, and it connects me to the past in a way that typing on a computer screen can’t. The irony of handwriting out everything I post beforehand isn’t lost on me.  For a few minutes last week, however, I connected to a complete stranger through the art of writing, and perhaps that is why I am happy to be an old-fashioned analog author.

**Kudos to anyone who loves the movie I stole the title from as much as I do!