I've never thought too much about my signature. Hell, no one in my country even gives it a second glance. Seriously! Over about a year I signed all things with Bob Hope. I never got one call from a bank, credit card, or store.
Imagine how I felt when I got to Brazil and had to register my signature. Not only that, when I signed anything it had to be the same. No, not zen like 'sure it's close enough' same but actually the same.
I discovered that this was doubly true whenever signing anything somewhat official. They have people at the Cartorio (Brazilian registry) who are trained to tell if the signature is right on. Regardless of you being there, they will not accept it if it does not match your registered signature.
And it's not only them! Our bank calls Mr. Rant monthly to ask about the checks I write. Apparently my signature is never close enough to the two they have on file. Never. I blame the children because, let's be honest, it's why I have them.
So it comes as no shocker that signing things in this country stress me the hell out. I always wait just a second or two too long to sign things. People always think that I'm going to change my mind.
Take the signing away of my apartment for instance. I almost had a panic attack! And if I didn't sign it correctly? If the people at the Cartorio rejected my signature? Of course the buyers were smart and had a paid witness from the catorio there so I think I could have pulled off one of my old Bob Hope stunts. Of course, this is Brazil and I would get a call 40 years down the line when the Grandchildren were trying to sell the place saying that their paperwork is bad because I'm an ass.
Yes, paperwork, signatures, and all things "official" here are stressful. The details are so anal you'd think that the government is into S&M. Of course you should look at the other side. I don't have one Brazilian friend annoyed that someone is living as them. I'm sure they have it but I personally know of no personality theft here. Maybe there is some sense to all this madness.