On January 26, 2009, Nadya Suleman, a 33-year old single mom with 6 children under the age of 8, gave birth to octuplets. Dubbed "The Octo-Mom" by the tabloids, Suleman's amazing story has attracted worldwide attention and a firestorm of criticism. Let's see what her handwriting has to say.
Nadya has been posting a handwritten blog on Radar Online. Her posts are written on a yellow legal pad. Here’s a portion of a recent post.
On a typical legal pad, there are lots of horizontal lines and there are two closely spaced vertical lines. These vertical lines lay down the law: “See these lines? They are the left margin. Start here.” Rebels who write through the left margin say “society’s rules aren’t for me.”
Do you notice anything unusual about the left margin on this page? Nadya not only ignored the left margin, she turned the paper upside down and wrote her blog with the left margin on the right, as if she didn’t even realize that there are rules. Perhaps, this "rules, smules they're only for fools" attitude is what motivated the "Octo-Mom" to have 14 children by in vitro fertilization.
And do you see how the words, "however" "about" and "home" crash into the right margin? A writer who repeatedly crashes her words into edge of the page is like the child who bangs her head into the wall –says "ouch" and goes and bangs her head into the wall---over and over again. Nadya saw the end of the page coming, but her impulsiveness caused her to plow on and squeeze in one more word. You and I might have planned ahead, stopped writing and begun the next word on the following line. But not Nadya. Hmmm... could that be why Nadya, a single, unemployed mother with six children – including one son who is autistic, another child who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a third with a mild speech problem and mild autism – could bring 8 more children into the world without a plan or the means to care for them?
Oprah, Dr. Phil, Nadya's parents, you, and me aren't the only ones who are a bit miffed over the Octo-Mom's current predicament. Do you see that many of Nadya's t-crossings (especially when the "t" is the last letter of the word) whip backwards to the left? These "whip strokes" appear in the handwriting of smart people who whip themselves because they always feel that they've made dumb decisions.
Nadya may be feeling a little dumb now. But she'll probably be feeling even dumber when she's got 14 teenagers fighting to get into the bathroom in the morning!
Michelle Dresbold is a nationally known handwriting expert and personality profiler. Are you a doodler? Have a personal question or problem? Mail your doodles and handwritten letters to: The Handwriting Doctor, P.O. Box 1161, Monroeville, PA 15146.