Saturday, June 27, 2009

Signing Cards = Pulling Teeth

Over the years I have noticed that it is extremely difficult and painful for me to sign greeting cards. It is an uncomfortable act that I would liken to going to the dentist. I can sign my name just fine, but it's writing a personal message that I don't care for. Fore some reason I really struggle coming up with the words to write in a card.

If the card is for a family member or close friend then it's not an issue, but when it's for an acquaintance or a co-worker who you may not be very close to and several others are signing it too, then I have a hard time. What makes it worse is when people pass a card around for you to sign, you can't just write the exact same thing as everyone else so you have to think up some kind of variation. After several stressful minutes I can usually only come up with something like "Happy Birthday, I hope you have a great one."

Some people are really into greeting cards and others don't care for them. I think they are a nice gesture, but it takes a year off my life each time I try to write a message in them. For that reason I'm a fan of the silly or sappy pre-printed message cards even though some people think just putting your signature on a card is sort of cold hearted. Much of what people write in a birthday card to co-workers can be insincere and repetitious. It's kind of like a High School yearbook signing. "Biology class was great, have an awesome summer. Stay cute and cool and call me". Sound familiar? Sound insincere?

I would almost prefer to sign a condolences card for someone who has just experienced a horrible loss because at least I would have something to say and I could be sincere about the message. I'm curious to know if anyone else suffers from this horrible affliction.

13 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Are you my husband? It's like pulling teeth getting him to write a message.

Eric said...

I used to, but now I usually make an anagram or write something to them in their first language for some extra fun. Maybe a little sketch of something funny. Hey, you can be the guy that writes comedically small!

Lisa Loo said...

Amen and amen! Especially in a church class setting---trying to hit sincere and uplifting all at the same time....

Fancy Schmancy said...

I'm the exact same way, I usually just write whatever is expected, "Hope you have a great day! Good luck! Best wishes! Have a nice life! You deserve it!". It's the exclamation points that make the difference, I believe.

Kelly said...

I have a hard time believing this. You can write so much about the most random topics that you must not find it that hard to spew forth meaningless stuff on a card.

Do I offend? If so it's not intentional.

Stay cool and stuff.

KT

Rachel said...

Me too! I have panic attacks just thinking about it. When I worked for a much larger organization I had to sign one of those group cards at least once a week and I ended up just signing my name and feeling like a schmo. I also hate office birthday parties. It's the singing of "Happy Birthday" that does me in. I'm an 80 year old crank.

peewee said...

There's nothing I hate more. And really? It's the cards for my mother's birthday that KILL me. I never know what to say year after year after year...UGH! The sentiment!

So, what I've found that works is to get the funniest card EVER...and then sign it..."funny, right?! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

Don't know what to tell you about the office card. I avoid that by not working anywhere. does that help?

Jeanne said...

All that, plus worrying that, if I write something I think is funny, they won't get the joke and I'll offend someone. So I wind up writing something very careful that doesn't sound the least bit like me.

Hey! My word verification is "Mulan" and I actually know the sister of one of the producers of that film! What can it mean????

Chaka said...

Jeanne-I really didn't get your comments about "Mulan". Is that unrelated subject supposed to be funny?
Just kidding-I was just giving you a taste of the worry you expressed. I totally hear you.

chaos37 said...

I like to quote random songs then I sign my name. Sometimes it's appropriate... who knows!

LegalMist said...

I used to work with a fellow (we'll call him "John") who always signed every card with "Cheers! --John"). Just those two simple words. It worked really well, except for those "condolence" cards when someone died.... but for birthdays, retirements, promotions, anniversaries, holidays, etc., it was just fine. And he never spent more than 3 seconds thinking and signing a card.

Perhaps this will work for you, too?

P.S. I'm here by referral from Fancy Schmancy. Clicking around, checking you out.... liking what I see so far.... if I follow you, will you follow me?

Beckalita said...

That's funny. I HATE getting those cards that I know people spent money on, agonized over, and didn't have anything to say to me. How's that?

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

This is why I jot a little Latin down in the cards when I sign them. Even if it is just "felix sit natalis dies" (Happy Birthday). That way it looks like I took the time to think of something pithy or profound, and it gives them that whole "what the heck does that mean?" joy.