Go ahead and file this one under the “boring new thing that makes the whole ‘new thing’ mission much less impressive than when I first heard about it and assumed you’d be doing things like skydiving, skinny dipping, and scuba diving every day” category. Yesterday, I signed an email with only my first initial.
I know what you’re thinking: some combination of “lame,” “wow, that’s incredible; you’re really bold and brave,” and “seriously? You’ve never done that before in your entire life?” I really haven’t. I’ve gone so far as to type the initial at the end of the email, but then I always add the rest of my name because I think it looks strange and naked standing there all alone. Friends, colleagues, and family members get away with it all the time, but I’ve just never been able to pull it off. It feels like by only using the initial, I’m somehow implying that I think I’m so wonderful and my time is so valuable that I can’t be bothered to spell out my whole name. Of course, that makes no sense, because when I receive an email with an initial signature, I feel privileged, as if the sender obviously considers our relationship to be meaningful enough that we don’t have to bother with full names.
Have I spent way too much time thinking about something that most people don’t even consciously notice? Yes. Is being aware of that going to stop me from initially typing my initial, then thinking better of it? No. After I sent the email signed only with C, did I go back and look at my sent message and think it looked really weird and hope the recipient didn’t wonder why I couldn’t bother to type out the rest of the letters? I’m not answering that.