Wishing You Every Happiness

Dear Readers,


Have you noticed that in the last few years Americans have changed our letter endings? Best Regards, Regards, and Best have replaced Sincerely, Yours Truly, and Love. What’s up with that? Do we think we are British or something? Or have we just stopped being sincere???? What happened to the love? This has been vexing me for quite awhile. Even Charlotte the Spider in Charlotte’s Web managed “salutations”, which works perfectly as a beginning or ending. The Spanish “saludos” or “greetings” works for me too and I am going to incorporate this into my letters when not using old-fashioned American letter endings.

Recently Mood Ring Momma has been on a letter writing campaign to famous people, most specifically author and Esquire writer A.J. Jacobs and cosmetic maven Trish McEvoy. The first letter she wrote, her first Famous Person Letter ever, was in praise of Mr. Jacobs’ new book The Guinea Pig Diaries. She signed her letter “Sincerely”, I was pleased to note. Although I have yet to read it (MRM is bringing me it next week), I will take credit for turning her on to the Mr. Jacobs’ body of work. Jesus Freak that I am, I read the The Year of Living Biblically first and have since purchased and passed around his books as gifts. The man is a genius, I’ll have you know. Besides laughing several times on every page, I learned mucho. In any event, Mood Ring did not get a response after a few days so I took it upon myself to write him, thinking perhaps an internet glitch botched the transmission. Lo and behold, he wrote me back and, after resending the letter, he wrote back Mood Ring Momma. Now that’s class. He did get her name wrong but ni modo. He fixed it later.

Then MRM wrote Trish McEvoy after the MakeUnder at Nordies, thanking her for a fun experience. MRM was kind enough to point Ms. McEvoy in the direction of my blog highlighting her fine cosmetics and Viking Queen (what a nice sister!). First, Trish’s team wrote back and then Trish herself wrote MRM, and vicariously me, a lovely note. She signed her note “Wishing You Every Happiness”. For a moment, I thought I was back in Shanghai, that phrase sounding vaguely Chinese, like something you might find on a menu – Wishing You Every Happiness Chicken or Hope Springs Eternal Rolls. It takes a long time to type this phrase out, longer than xoxoxoxo, which I do when in a hurry to friends and family, and certainly longer than the stiff and impersonal Regards. So kudos to Trish McEvoy for developing a signature signature, fresh, original, and American, to thank her fans. I cannot overstate how genuine and personal the note was. Another class act.

I am going to sign off here and wish you every happiness today. Arturo the Electrician is arriving soon to discuss installing lighting. Wires are hanging out of some of my walls where light fixtures should be. Light fixtures do not come with houses here, a trend that is common in most of Europe. And although I am loathe to invest a lot in a house that is not mine, I am also loathe to drive to the ER in the middle of the night when my children and/or guests fall down the stairs because they got lost in the dark.

Sincerely Yours,

The Expat Princess

P.S. Random Tom: I really am working up to bull fighting and other manly endeavors to woo you back!

P.P.S. the Chinese character represents “autumn”, a season when the qi (i.e. life energy) is sluggish. It all makes sense now.


Housekeeping question: for those with children, do they do chores and if so, what do they do? Did you have to do chores as a child?



Filed under Cosmetology, Family, Life, Misunderstandings, Reading, Religion, Spanish vocabulary

15 responses to “Wishing You Every Happiness

  1. Sarah P

    Even though I’m in the land of live-in helpers, both of my boys do chores. Feeding the animals, making beds, clearing the dinner table. Haven’t started them on sorting laundry but feel this may be a chore in the near future.

  2. MCV

    Nice post. I sign my work letters “Best” because I most certainly don’t “Love” my clients/colleagues/prospects. I’m not even sure I’m “sincere” in my “Best” but it’s the shortest sign off, so I go with that. “xoxoxox” while EASY to type also feels extremely inappropriate for work.
    Re: chores–you should write a blog about our childhood chores. As you know, we had lots, including collecting eggs out of a converted dog pen. I’m working up to become very strict about my kids’ chores. GV currently makes his bed and puts his laundry away. He could do more.

    MCV was here

  3. 425Heidi

    I end with Love (family and friends) and Take Care. Emails I end with just my name. Lately, I have added ~ before my name, just for fun.

    My children make their beds, clean up their rooms, and set and clear the dinner table. They have been begging for more chores (money incentive), but I haven’t got around to making a schedule. I plan on teaching them basic house cleaning at our cabin. It is time they learn how to scrub a toilet.

    I had similar chores growing up. It looks like I am walking in my mother’s footsteps. She always was the one doing all the work. I didn’t even do laundry until I went away to college.

    I can’t wait for Mood Ring Mama to get there! I am sure you will have some great stories from her visit.

  4. Sarah P: that’s my girl! Have fun in vanilla Singapore. The Slings are not my favorite cocktail, however. Much prefer the caipiroska!

    MCV: you have answered my question: Americans are not feeling sincere. Duh, xoxoxox is inappropriate for work. Vis a vis the childhood chores, I have to agree they were strenuous. I, however, did not go into the dog kennel/chicken coop as I was too large to fit into the dog house. I don’t ask my maids to do anything The Radish didn’t ask me to do.

    425Heidi: long time no write. I guess that cabin fever has set in … Scrubbing toilets today in the US is so much more fun than anywhere else in the world. The kids can handle it. Love the ~! Super fun. Now if I can just get that little accent above a letter ….

  5. flaky friend

    My least favorite sign off is “kind regards.” It seems so pretentious. I don’t write many letters but my business letters always end with “sincerely.” My kids do chores sporadically I am ashamed to admit. I did multo chores as a youngster.

  6. FF: thanks for writing in! I agree with you!

    Also, how about CORDIALLY? For those who are not sincere, this seems to fit the bill. It’s like saying “civilly” but a tad warmer. There’s always RESPECTFULLY as well.

  7. Susan

    Is Random Tom back reading your blog? Have been wondering where he went! My kids clean their bathrooms and help with kitchen stuff. Of course the bathrooms never look that great!

  8. SmartAlecAngela

    My kids clean their own rooms, set the dinner table every night and clean up the kitchen after dinner. They put music on the kitchen cd player and sing and dance while cleaning. Shub and I use this time to go to the living room, have a glass of wine and look at the city nightlights.

    Just kiddin’
    xoxoxo, beijos and abracos and my fave “love ya”

  9. Susan: well, Random Tom made an appearance … now I have to write about some manly stuff. Go back to the Viking Queen post and read his comment.

    Smarty: very funny, very funny. May need to invest in iPod speakers for postage sized kitchen to see if that cuts down on cleanup bickering. Glad you are enjoying your husband and wine at the same time:).
    Love ya!

  10. My girls make me laugh about their chores. This is a case of revised history. Frankly Meredith had the worst job when she had to clean the garage with her father. But giving that all my girls say is true, I made sure that they never did as much work as I had to do. And I achieved that. Your Finley cousin, Lynn did a lot of work.

    Mostly I sign my name, but I do try to fit the circumstances when needed.

  11. Thanks for asking how I sign my name, I am going to put more thought into it.

    Kick butt with your sister.

  12. 602Jill

    Chores for children—-My mother believed that children should be children–because when they get older they spend the rest of their lives doing house hold chores. She was right!!! Children should make their beds-pick up their rooms and set tables. They should also bring their dirty dishes to the sink. I guess I was too easy on them but they all turned out to be neat freaks!! Now I’ve turned into a slob because I worked so had when they were little….Hmmm

  13. Oh Radish, your memory fails you!

    602Jill: Interesting perspective. I am not that much of a martyr. My children need to leave for college having had experience in all areas of household work. But by and large, they are bedmakers, table setters, dishwasher emptiers, pots and pan scrubbers. As I write this, I am looking at a plate teenaged Thing 1 left on my desk. Any tips on how to enforce this rule?

  14. Mrs. NATO

    Hmm, I am beginning to think I have slave-driver tendencies as my wee ones (8 & 6) have been ‘straightening’ their beds, putting away their clothes, cleaning up their rooms, setting and clearing the dinner tables and pushing the occasional vacuum for at least 2 years now. So this began at 6 & 4, respectively. Perhaps, its the 3 deployments in 7 years which brings about ‘man-down’ strategies. 😉

    Alas, my d-i-l’s will be forced to bow before me in the least, claro?

    *Kindly (when seeking assistance from others)
    *Very respectfully or VR…(its a military thang)
    *My best (to those I haven’t spoken with in a while)
    *With love (family and friends who might as well be family!)

    Oh, I have also taken to the ~ before my sign off…usually followed by merely my first initial.

    In that…..LOVE YOU MUCHO!
    ~ e
    P.S. Do I require a new alias now?

  15. Mrs. NATO

    As for my childhood chores…I did them all by the age of 13 to include cleaning my brother’s room. To this day, I am still not over it. =/

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