Deb: So I get an email from an old high-school friend who seems determined to tell me why she doesn’t sign “love” at the end of her email as I do. She explained to me “nicely” that she feels awkward signing “love” when I am not her husband or her child.
Gotta say, little miffed.
I said to her, “Wow, we’ve been friends since we were 10 and I do love you. I thought you loved me too. I’m sorry that my signing of ‘love’ offended you.” Doesn’t that sound graceful? Truth was, I was offended and seething.
But I faked it, faked it up, faked the “love”!
She responded with a lesson in email signing. I LOVE GETTING A LESSON FROM A FRIEND WHO IN MY OPINION IS IN THE WRONG! I BATHE IN THE CONDESCENSION! She told me that in her opinion, you should sign “Love” to your husband or lover, “Love ya”, “Love you”, or “Love, Mom” to your kids. And to your friends––depending where they are in the emotional pecking order––“Luv” (that old sixties fave), or your name with an “xo” after it, or “Cheers”, and if they are new friends or casual acquaintances, “Best”... and your name.
I responded to her with “What the Fuck? Love, Deb xoxoxox”
Barbara: Ouch! No, you know what? Bugs me too when people tell me what the “general rules” are or should be when it comes to mundane (and, for all intents and purposes, completely sweet) gestures. “Don’t drive drunk”: a rule that should be mandated. “Don’t send love”: Um …
But I’m also notoriously affectionate in my email. Even to the point of x-and-oing complete strangers! I’m not gonna change. I think we need MORE random acts of affection. And I kinda think of it as the alphabetic equivalent of a French kiss—er, I mean, the double-cheek kiss that the French employ. They don’t think about how much they love you when they’re laying two of those babies on your face—especially if they only have a passing acquaintance with you––they’re just being affectionately polite. For them, saying hello or goodbye is excuse enough to share the warmth.