All the things you've been told to seek in the perfect guy: sparkling sense of humor, sonorous voice, spiffy shoes. Trash 'em, says author Beverley East. The proof of the person is in the way he writes. Kingston, Jamaica, native East should know. As a professional handwriting analyst or graphologist, East is president of her own Washington, D.C., firm, Strokes & Slants. She has analyzed the writing of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, and Patsy Ramsey. She also has worked with Fortune 500 companies on selecting and weeding out job candidates.
Now East uses her skills to help people enhance their personal relationships with her first book Finding Mr. Write: A New Slant on Selecting the Perfect Mate, which she plugs in Miami this Thursday. As little as a signature can reveal loads about a person, she claims. It certainly told East a lot about her future husband. She had his penmanship examined before she began a relationship with him. “I thought he was too good to be true!” she laughs. The couple has been married for eleven years, and East hopes her advice will lead her readers to similar happiness. “I want people to really have an understanding of the person they want to be with,” East explains. “Anybody that you're working with, living with, you want to know as much as possible and it's not always that the person can tell you or is going to tell you.”
What exactly can you find out? Well, deceitful people often include a double-loop in their o's. Jealous types usually make a tiny circle at the very top of their letters, such as t or h. And those with quick tempers exert heavy pressure on their handwriting. Optimists cross their t's in an upward motion. Long g's and y's indicate a hearty libido.
Even these days when the art of letter-writing seems lost thanks to quick and easy e-mail, what your teachers always warned you holds true: Penmanship counts. Slobs can rest easy, though. Neatness doesn't. “If something is illegible, it doesn't mean they're a bad person,” East notes. “I show in the book that some of the people that have committed horrendous crimes have really nice handwriting. Usually illegible writing means swiftness of mind.”