Two  years ago in May, I met a guy named Leo on a bus ride back to NYC from DC. He was older, like in his 70s, and was on his way to visit a sister who was ailing and talked about getting to see his son, who he doesn’t always get to spend time with. We talked the entire bus ride. He told me about traveling to Asia, meeting his wife, starting his family, running his business. The entire life story. I soaked it up.

I have since learned that I attract old people on buses, because he’s not the first or last oldish person I’ve talked to. My favorite definitely goes to the old man in Hamburg, Germany, back in 2005, who talked about his past and love and life to my friend and I the entire boat ride while we drank hot chocolate. He was delightful!

Anyhow, back to Leo. After Leo and I discussed the basics and I took a nap, we started talking again and he began to share with me articles that he wrote for a small newsletter. They were amazing, really. I was inspired by his writing and in one particular article, titled, “With Like.”

In this article, Leo talked about how we close letters. How every one does their best to be business like, or how sometimes “love” is too intense of a closing, but how “best” is too informal. He suggests that we close with “with like.” His main point is that if you’re writing a letter in this day and age, you clearly “like” the person enough, so maybe close with the proper sentiment.

I agree. Completely.

So I’ve been closing all kinds of letters with different closures trying to figure out which I prefer:

“Best” doesn’t do it for me.
“Cheer!” I love, but sometimes it sounds too excited and depending on the message, might not be appropriate.
“With Love” only gets used for love letters
“love” gets used for family and extremely close friends
“Sincerely” business (but not my business) letters, only
“My all” goes on thank yous
“hugs and love” goes to someone I love, but when I want a more playful note
“hugs” goes to close friends when I’m just sharing a quick note

I’m sure there are more that I’ve signed off with, but I can’t remember them right now. It’s oh, so overwhelming to decide which one to use and I find myself considering Leo’s “With like” more and more.

I think moving forward I’m going to start using “with like” on all my letters, unless they are to my mother, brothers, nephew, and other family members and my love interests. I’ll let you know how it goes. Whether anyone thinks it’s weird or responds concerned.

As for Leo, I’m going to let him know about this post and I’m going to sign my Christmas card to him this December with “with like”. Yep, he’s on my Christmas card list. And this seems mighty right.

If you have a novel way of signing off on your letters, let me know in the comment section. I’m really curious to know if people change them per letter like me, or if you’ve established a closure that is your signature closure.

 

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