Social Observations

Card-signing woes and a powerful safety word.

One thing that's really hard for me is signing cards to women. I can pick them out (after an hour or so... my family has experienced my pickiness when it comes to cards), I can fill the card with a note, and I can even remember the birthday or special event. It's the last part—the signing—that challenges me. If you are a female friend of mine and have already heard this rant, please feel free to skip this post if you haven't already.

How does a guy sign a note to a girl without giving the wrong impression? Unless he's Ted Skuchas, who can get away with anything, a guy can't write Love without running the risk of creeping her out. So what are his alternatives? He could write From, but that's what you write on mandatory Valentines in second grade. Your friend? You're wrong, buster*. He may choose to go with nothing, and simply sign his name, but that's rather abrupt. Sincerely works in many cases, but not on a personal letter or card. Cheers might work, but it might also make him look like he's trying too hard to be creative or international. My grandmother signs cards with X0X0 (hugs and kisses), but I'm not a grandmother. For a while, I thought I had this signing issue solved with the dash (—Michael), but I later realized that this is too impersonal, although it may be used in correspondence with other males. So, what is a guy to do?

Women have it so easy. They have this thing that's like the dash, but better. They have that darned heart. It's sweet, it's sincere, but it doesn't have to mean "Love." But can a guy use this heart? Think of how you would react to that. Doesn't work, does it? For now, I have to end my messages with long explanations like this, or I sign with a silly phrase, such as Talk to you soon, See you later, Keep it real, or Remember to test those smoke-detectors weekly.

If anyone out there can help me out with other signing suggestions, send me an email.

On a related note:
A guy can say some surprising things to another guy as long as he remembers to add the word "man" at the end. For example, "I love you man." Or, "I miss you man." Use it when you need it, but remember it won't let you get away with everything.

Keep on reading,

*I felt like using the word "buster." Haven't heard it recently.

Posted: Wednesday - September 15, 2004 at 11:27 PM