How do you finish an email without sounding like a nong? For years I have been ending my emails with ‘cheers, Mandy’. I don’t necessarily like it. I just can’t think of anything better. It’s not like I’d run into someone in the street, have a chat and then leave them with a high five and a cheers! ‘Cheers’ does feel a bit like the high five sign-off of the electronic world.
You wouldn’t apply for a job and then sign off with ‘cheers Mandy Nolan’. If I read that I would think ‘clearly Mandy Nolan is an idiot’. When you think about it, ‘cheers’ is stupid. It implies I am sitting at my computer with a beer toasting everyone I send an electronic blurt to. In reality I am covered in spray tan, drinking tea. Cheers has been and always will be a compromise. I don’t really like anyone to tell me to cheer up, but I settled on cheers after an internal argument with myself about what was the most appropriate sign-off for an email.
There’s not really that much on offer and in the scheme of things, Cheers sounded bright and happy and positive. There’s an upbeat tone that says ‘not trying to be a pain in the butt or confrontational. I’m in a good mood. I’m happy to help. I’m working with ya, buddy. Hey, I’m a nice person. A go-getter. I’m not attached to your response.’
It’s hard to reject someone who signs off with a ‘cheers’ because it’s informal and it feels like they are your friend. I particularly like sending a bitchy email and then a ‘cheers’ at the end. Sort of takes the sting out of a confrontation. Cheers is daggy but it seems appropriate for a comedian. As a comedian I can’t be signing off with ‘regards Mandy Nolan’. ‘Regards’ is far too formal. Like I’ve suddenly decided to send an email from the 1950s. Before the internet. Regards? That means, sending my fond wishes. Seems a bit over the top for an email, unless I’m sending an invoice to Jane Austen.
I just worry that Cheers holds me back from being taken seriously. I am a 47-year-old woman, signing off with an informal greeting followed by an exclamation mark. Cheers! Like I’m so excited by the communication. Like I can’t wait to hear back. Sounds so desperate. Like I need to be liked.
I wish I had the confidence to just write my name like some people do. They just write the message and then put their name at the end like they’re so busy they can’t be bothered to sign off. It’s powerful, aloof and strangely businesslike and informal at the same time. I can’t help but think though that the person who signs off like that is a bit of a prick. What they are actually saying is, I’ve finished what I had to say, and have no interest or time for sending fond tidings or happy salutations.
For all I care you could drop dead on the receipt of this message in your inbox. And if you do I am glad I didn’t waste my Kind Regards on you.
For people I like and feel comfortable with I don’t use cheers. Because it’s become too fake. I don’t actually mean it. I have come up with a compromise. I sign off by writing ‘xMandy’. That’s a kiss. Sometimes I write ‘xxMandy’ but that seems a bit over the top to me, Like I really, really, REALLY like you in a totally sexual and romantic way. If I put ‘xxxMandy’ you are in trouble.
I have at times sent the wrong sign-off to the wrong person.
I accidentally signed off ‘xxMandy’ to a publicist the other day – who I only know from our occasional emails. He was previously on the ‘cheers’ roster. I noticed in the email response he signed off with xxShaun. Shit, I’ve started something. Now if I just write back cheers or even xMandy he’ll think he’s done something.
If I persist with the xxMandy he’ll want to escalate it to xxxShaun. I’m a happily partnered woman. ‘xxxMandy’ is like cheating. It means I’ll have to up John’s ‘x’ quota to xxxxMandy. That’s just stupid. And it’s too symmetrical. I would have to do five kisses as I don’t like four. And then I’m sending a message that I’m some pathetic needy romantic who passed out on the ‘X’ key. Oops, got to go, Shaun’s at the door. Cheers! Mandy x.