evolution of a signature
19/03/2010 § 2 Comments
How many of you sit there and practise your signature, blank pages of notebooks or random pieces of paper with various scribbled handstyles? It’s actually pretty interesting if you really think about it.
There are those who have had the same signature since the early days of teenage-hood and there are those that keep it changing, at the age of 24, my signature is still changing. This morning, I was experimenting with a new signature, filling a small page with differing versions of the letter “b”. Somewhere between “b” number 15 and b number 20, I started asking myself: why?
I had never thought that changing one’s signature could have a deeper meaning. But, as most of you know, there has been a lot of change in my life and for some reason it is being expressed through my signature. I get it: the reinvention of one’s self and the resulting physical manifestations. I get that part. However, what will the practical reprecussions be?
For example, when I first moved to Toronto after high school with my family, I was experiencing some pretty big changes. I started experimenting with my signature and decided to change it from big and bubbly to sharp and slanted. Once I was pleased with the result, I went to the bank and opened a chequing account using my new, improved signature. Months later, I lost my bank card and went to go get another one. When asked for my driver’s license, as proof of who I was, the teller refused to give me a new card because I didn’t look like my picture (you do change a lot from 16 to 18, especially a late-bloomer like myself). I remember I started laughing and explained to her that the picture was taken before I even hit puberty properly. So, she went for Option B. She retrieved my account forms and compared the signature to the signature on my license. Obviously, they did not match.
I remember laughing, again, and trying to explain that you can change a lot from 16 to 18, especially your signature. She was not impressed. She gave me a hard time saying she would not administer a new card and that it was against the bank’s policy. I couldn’t believe it. Here was some stranger trying to tell me that I wasn’t “me”. I looked different, I had a different signature, and, to be quite honest, if she could have seen into my brain, she would have seen I was a completely different person. It was a baffling realization of how things work in the world. In the end, my laidback laugh convinced her I wasn’t a scam artist and if I was, I was not a good one as the account I would have been scamming only had $10.16.
Throughout the following years, I have repeatedly changed my signature. Now that I think of it, the change always coincided with a bigger change in my life. Then it got me thinking if those who keep the same signature for years, if not a lifetime, feel more confident about who they are? Some close friends of mine have not changed their signatures since high school. As a correlational observation, they are incredibly driven and have always known what they wanted to be when they grew-up. Others who have kept the same signature have obviously matured, but remained true to their character with the same principles and opinions. Am I a volatile character?
Then, introspection again. What does just the letter “b” as a signature mean? For so long, almost 5 years, my signature was a B —- y “Triangle” —— . Literally illegible but long and allusive.
Now, I am testing the single-initial waters. b.