The other day my husband Michael, who is my business partner, showed me a personal-business email he had received from the mother of a child at our daughter’s high school. The email was about a carpooling situation.
Just above the mother’s name at the end of her email was this “close”:
Can you imagine my surprise? This was a letter to my husband.
(Note: If XXXOOO is not used in your culture, in our culture it stands for “Kiss kiss kiss hug hug hug.”)
And it was not the first time the mother (I will call her that instead of making up a name) had used the affectionate close. Michael showed me an entire email thread, which she had started days earlier. Each message ended with XXXOOO.
Because all her messages end that way, it is obvious the mother uses XXXOOO in her automatic signature.
Whew! So I won’t worry about any misplaced affection for my husband.
The mother’s automatic signature reminded me of another message closing that a stranger used in her email to Michael about a business writing class. It was “With warmest regards.”
Here is my advice: Be cautious with your automatic signatures. Yes, it is fine to end a message with XXXOOO when writing to your life partner or close family members. And it is perfectly appropriate to use “With warmest regards” in a message to a long-standing client, customer, or colleague who has become a very dear friend.
But don’t use them when writing to my husband!
Am I overreacting? What is your view?