I think it began as a small child at my grandmother’s table. I noticed the handles on the silver had scrolly letters and I wanted to know why. Then I was highly influenced by the preppy craze in my late childhood. Here in the south it is customary to monogram almost anything that can’t move on its own accord. Towels, linens, key chains, clothing, purses, flasks, cars , , , the list can go on and on. I am enamored by it all. You can go the formal route and use all three letters: first, middle and last. or you can be more modern and use just one letter, either your first or last name. I will have internal arguments with myself when choosing which way to go, thank goodness no one can hear them, they might think I was a bit peculiar putting so much effort into such a decision. My love of monograms goes beyond the letters that come with my name, I now possess the lovely box of jumbled silver that once lived at my grandmother’s house. She was a Sawyer, so it is filled with lots of S’s but there are some other letters in there as well from those that came before her and I treasure and use all of it. I have yet to have a guest at my table that questions the fact that there are no A’s on the silver. In my second book, which I finished the rough draft of this past Monday at 1:45 in the morning, had to get up at five to go teach twenty first graders (I am bird-walking) I have imagined the monogram choices of my characters. For example, Lydia the retired soap opera star, I envision a curly baroque style. For Miss Virginia, a southern graceful lady, a classic style and for Addie my heroine and young southern modern woman a clean graphic style. I prefer a classic or clean style myself. So you can imagine the joy I felt when my dear friend Gregg (That’s her middle name) gave me this beautiful A for Christmas this year. Now my dilemma is where to display it, I have so many possibilities I plan to move it around for awhile. The beauty of monograms is what they convey, I mean beyond the obvious of your name. They say, this is special and matters (I know it doesn’t quite make sense with monogrammed paper napkins) this item should be treated with care. Monograms are also legacies. That old silver and linen you see in antique shops tells the story of someone’s life, I often wonder about the people it came from and will spin stories of their lives in my mind. The monogrammed items that come from your ancestors are part of your story. When I set a table with grandma Sawyer’s S silver I imagine our hands touching through time, her hand and mine setting tables for loved ones years apart. That is the magic of the monogram, I hope you will celebrate yours and those of your family. Whether you are Southern or not monograms are a beautiful way to leave your stamp on this world.