A few years ago I was signing some paperwork with my mother. She saw how I signed them and exclaimed, “You sign just like your dad!” My mother and father’s signatures are at opposite ends of the signature spectrum. My mother has an elegant signature, much like the cursive writing we learned in elementary school. My father’s signature is written fast and appears to be a disorganized mess. In his defense, if you examine it you can see there’s actually method to the madness, and signing this way makes his signature distinct and hard to duplicate. My own signature falls between the two. It starts elegant, like my mother, but degenerates with each letter. I remember signing some sort of form with one of my professors back in college. I told him my full name, and he replied, “I never would have guessed that based on your signature.” I feel like my signature tries to achieve some sort of happy medium between the styles of my mother and father but in reality fails utterly. It tries to please everyone but ends up pleasing no one.
In a sense my signature is very much a manifestation of myself, and I suspect to a small degree the same could be said of others. For me it embodies the dichotomy of my life: the methodical and the erratic, the dogmatic and the flexible, the discipline and the laziness, the courage and the cowardice, the wisdom and the foolishness, the contentment and the despair, the seriousness and the clown.