Tuesday, March 08, 2005


The signature.
It's quite a big deal. You want to convey warmth but not too much warmth. "Best" sounds nice but perhaps too distant. And a lot of the times, the email you have sent is not the best. Most of the time, it is mediocre because you are rushed and need to respond now. Five minutes ago. Yesterday.
"Best wishes" sounds too earnest even for a guy who calls his website "Bring Back Sincerity."
It's been over a year since I have been grasping for a way to end my emails. I've tried the dash like so: - A
But the dash feels flat, both literally and creatively. It says, "I had no time to consider an ending to my emails so therefore, I present to you, reader of this email, just a dash. If you want more than a dash, I just simply cannot supply it here. This is not where you should be looking for more than a dash. Apologies."

In the past, I have stolen signatures--I'm not proud of this but I felt like I had no choice. I wasn't feeling inspired. I needed to find it elsewhere even if it meant just "borrowing" someone's signature (I swear I was planning on giving it back).
I have pilfered the asterix from a friend because it felt both simple and playful. The asterix bounced above the name like so: *A.
Like a button on your keyboard pumped with helium, the asterix floats in the air like it wants to leave the monitor and jump into your life, bouncing up and down on your lap like a giddy child.
But then upon closer consideration, the asterix is usually associated with a side note, an after-thought, as if I was saying that my name, my very being, wasn't integral to this email exchange. Every thing above my name is important. Paradoxically, I am not. I came from dirt and I will be dirt once again.
An unnecessarily humble and dramatic ending. The asterix turned from our plaything into the wallflower of signatures.

Forget "sincerely" because I am not your teacher and I am not sending a note home to your parents about your misbehavior.
"Love" means you like, love the person. And every one knows that an email with "love" means that it comes with the cooties. And furthermore, nowadays, the word is invalidated enough. It does not need to appear on every email to further devalue its already meager worth. I leave "love" alone....and "like" will never make it at a sign-off ("like, arye?" I wouldn't even write back to myself).

I cannot take the "xo" seriously because:
1. Let's say I am emailing a guy and I mistakenly sign off with the "xo." Our correspondence then turns into a series of awkward exchanges wherein the recipient randomly and frequently mentions a "girlfriend" or the desire "to finally find one" throughout the email without any reason.
2. The publicists that email me use the "xo" quite often, if not all the time. And although I don't mind it--heck, I'm flattered by the many virtual hugs and kisses I get on a daily basis--it's lost its intimacy. There needs to be a substance between the sender and receiver to substantiate and justify the intimate closer. And I can't guarantee that every email I write will contain the substance needed to pucker up and embrace. Furthermore, I'm not the type of guy who easily goes past the "XO" so don't even suggest one ends with "second base."
3. "XO" was the name of an Elliott Smith album and it could potentially bum the person out if I am sending an email to a huge Elliott Smith fan. Then the contents of my message are forgotten due to the mourning depression that's overtaken the recipient by the memory of the deceased songwriter.
[Sometimes I will get an "xx" which is only one "x" away from making it dirty. Please be careful that my emails do not get a pornographic rating]

My friend Rina ends her emails with either "rock n roll," "hugs and wet willies," or "I wish I had a puppy." She could pull off all three. I cannot. I am 29. Puppies and wet willies are so 23-25.

"Always and Forever" suggests an eternity I can't guarentee. It also sounds like a Cher album title.
"Yours truly" means I can't email anyone else other than you. Because, naturally, I'm yours. Like, truly. As if you've purchased me at a store and hope you have the reciept because you're not sure if you want to keep me. Please keep me.
Hmmm...perhaps that should be my signature.

Please keep me,


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