Pretty Busy
November 14, 2006

My fathers signature is an R, followed by an extended line, ostensibly to signify the remainder of his first and last name. It is not legible and is meant to represent the remaining 16 letters in his name. I use to wonder and poke fun at it. It always struck me as weird, "No one can read that, it is a giant R, just write your name". I took so much pride in mine, it was a perfectly scripted, completely understood reflection of my entire name, even including the middle initial. It was never girly, no circle or heart "i"'s, but it was clear and neat. I was so the girl who practiced it, using my name or boys I liked at the time. I spent plenty a school hour writing and rewriting my signature. There were several variations of it. Then life happened. You buy a house and sign 67 mortgage documents. You begin writing checks, seemingly to everyone and everything. You work at a law firm where every piece of paper has to have a name, often yours even when you didn't draft the document yourself. The chicken scratch creeps in slowly. Your first name is replaced with an initial and a dot. Surely the last seven letters begin to form into a humpty-dumpty mush when all that is visible is an M and scrawl. It is not pretty at all. It is a reflection of life. Too busy to take the time to put in the effort for pretty. Too busy for a lot of things.

The thing is, the busier I become the more I want the pretty. I want to hide the busy. I want my hair to be perfectly dyed, my makeup to remain in place and cover up evidence of busy, those dark circles lining my eyes. I want my house to reflect the perfect decoration set out in Martha Stewart. I can't settle for plain jane; my snacks are even dressed up, toasted pita with goat cheese. I seem to think this covers the evidence of busy and over tired. It makes me happy to be surrounded by the neat, clean and fresh. Yet it takes a lot of effort; which is the irony. Is it worth all that effort? I let my handwriting slide, can I let the rest slide? I doubt it. I think those are the things that make me happy. They bring a small ounce of joy. Getting my hair dyed is a wonderful two hours of pampering. The pretty in my house make being in my house special and warm. If I wanted ugly, I would stay at work. Te he he. I appreciate the loveliness of it all that much more. I work that much harder to achieve it. Time and money poured into the pretty coffers. Goodness, it is difficult to maintain and perhaps the cost benefit analysis isn't there, but it does bring a smile to my face. The handwriting gets sloppy because there it is not worth it. The beautiful circles and perfectly detailed letters do not bring pleasure and are really utilitarian. Function over form on that one. So, I get it now, why an R can stand in for your name. My father is wise one. Scribbling the R frees up other time. Instead it means time devoted to pretty-ing up the rest of your life. Your home, your self and your family. Those things make you smile; they deserve to be pretty.

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Blogger Bianca said:

My signature has become an art form. It is a total authors signature, not that I've ever authored anything worth signing. But I'm loathe to ever change my name, even if I get married, because I like my signature just how it is.

5:35 PM 

Blogger e.b. said:

I look at as a fresh start. Hopefully it will take time for that one to get sloppy, I will cherish the newness of it.

6:30 PM 

Blogger jippyjabber said:

I am so guilty of the quick and ugly but I have never given up there is still time to recover.

10:32 PM 

Blogger JustRun said:

I used to be like that, writing out every letter as if I were pronouncing it at the same time. But, alas, I became lazy on my last name and now only the first 3-4 letters are legible and the rest is just a line. Strangely, though, my first name is still quite clear. Maybe I ought to just drop the last name altogether, like Cher.

5:52 AM 

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