This might be a foreign concept to a lot of people: house numbers. Not the number in and of itself, since that’s not something most people have any control over; I’m talking about the physical numbers that people put on their house to display that number.
Specifically, I’m talking about those people who have the house numbers written in cursive. When my fiancée and I moved into our house two years ago, those cursive-y numbers were among the first things to go, replaced by normal-ass digits.
Now, I have much more of an occasion to notice the numbers on people’s houses, what with my constant dog walking. And let me tell you what conclusion I’ve come to: there are so few times that cursive numbers are acceptable that I can list the only rule right here:
- If you can spell your house number with six (6) letters or less, you can choose to use a cursive spelling of that number.
This limits people to the following:
That’s all. Nineteen instances where it is acceptable for you to use the spelling of your house’s number, and even then I’m not convinced it’s ok.
I wrote this a while ago while thinking back across the expanse of my youth spent in the same church week in and week out. I don’t know where I should go with it, but I like how it reads. It’s fantastically incomplete, clearly.
The front doors of the church were heavy, too heavy for me to open without expending real effort when I was young, so I let my mother or father do it for me, entering the vestibule before them. Sometimes, if we were running late on account of me being slow to finish my cereal or my father not being able to find a shoe, we’d enter quietly, whispering as we unraveled scarves and shed gloves before depositing the youngest of my siblings in the nursery for the first hour of service. Other times the foyer would be brimming with people trying to find hangers for trench coats and space for their shoe covers, and I’d rush in, eschewing the normal sanctimony reserved for church, looking for friends.
I remember it, the sanctuary: how it looked, what it smelled like, the weekly attendees who filled it, and where each sat, in their family rows, a silent hierarchy of faith passed down from one generation to the next, the grasp on its initial planting slipping ever into the vast expanse of forgotten time. The patriarchs took their places on the end of the pews, closest to the center aisle, their wives dutifully at their side before a mixture of children ranging from youngest to oldest, so as to keep the smaller ones occupied with religious themed coloring books. If those patriarchs’ children were old enough, grandchildren were interspersed, perched on laps, helping to find chapter and verse during the services, a slow and steady indoctrination.
Religious lineage wasn’t limited to the families themselves, but extended to the congregation as a whole, with the more senior members of the chapel occupying the pews closest to the front of the sanctuary and altar. After them, various claims on the pews went unsaid, with the more forward seating reserved for the chapel’s elders, deacons, and so on, down to the rest of the laity. It stood to reason that the least tenured member of the congregation would sit in the far rear of the sanctuary’s seating, closest to the wall, in the relative chill of the Lord’s omnipresence.