It happened again at the bank.

I wrote a deposit slip for $5,000 (it was for quarterly taxes, OK?).

The woman at the drive-through was quite pleasant as she processed the transaction. I thanked her and pulled forward, but before I left the parking lot, I glanced down at the receipt.

It read: $500

OMIGOD. That’s $4,500 less than I expected to go into the account. I’m pretty sure the IRS would not be amused by a bounced check.

I wheeled back into a parking space, grabbed the receipt and headed for the teller counter. She had the original check in her hand.

“I knew you’d be back!” she said gleefully. “It was your handwriting. I couldn’t read it,” she added triumphantly. She adjusted the deposit and gave me a new receipt.

I was not triumphant. I was dejected, embarrassed and humiliated. Again.

My handwriting…um…sucks.

Always has and apparently always will.

And yes, it’s an ADD thing. Darn it. It’s an ADD trait I sure could live without. Excuse me for complaining about something so trivial. But perhaps it’s not so trivial to have trouble communicating on paper.

I’m a big list maker – errands, groceries, To Do’s. Lists are a good thing for ADD — they capture all those creative and random thoughts in one place.

Problem is that five minutes after I write them, I can’t read them. My husband (who apparently has a secret decoder ring) actually translates my own lists back to me!

Before debit cards were a fact of life, I was called on the carpet by sassy checkout clerks who insisted “The bank won’t be able to read this and I’m not going to be responsible for it!” I wanted to deck her and/or melt into the floor to avoid the sneers of the 1o people in line behind me.

Remember how good old Emily Post made that stupid rule about writing thank you notes with a pen and paper? Clearly she didn’t have a trace of ADD in her brain cells.

One of my friends (lovingly) says that she enjoys getting letters from me because every time she reads them, they take on new meaning (OK, so I’m interesting).

Why do I continue to write sloppily (hate that word)?

I just don’t have good coordination between brain and fingers, I guess. Years ago, I was writing a check while the clerk watched me. Noticing my handwriting, she said, “Oh, you must write really fast.” As I laboriously finished writing the check, she looked disapprovingly at me. “Well, I guess not…”

As if writing quickly made it acceptable for me to write illegibly, but writing slowly was no darned excuse.

I have no excuse, really. My thoughts come rapid-fire and my handwriting arrives on a slow boat to China.

I’ve tried printing instead of writing cursive but it’s so time consuming. I tried a digital recorder, but somebody has to transcribe all those digital messages (not me…too boring). I’ve used extra wide lined paper, unlined paper, steno pads, legal pads. Nothing changes my style.

All I can say is: thank god for debit cards (fewer checks) online banking (even fewer checks) and email (typing is good for the soul). Technology has allowed me to communicate in a way I would never have been able to manage otherwise.

Just be thankful you aren’t reading this blog in my handwriting. Victor’s got the decoder ring this week.