I THINK MY all-time favorite thing about Mexico are the words, “me regala su firma (or autógrafo, por favor.”
They are uttered by restaurant servers and store clerks when they want you to sign a credit card receipt.
In Texas, we use the verb dar instead of regalar. They mean the same, to give, except that to me regalar is used in connection with a gift. I haven’t studied Spanish so I don’t know if the two words are interchangeable but my limited knowledge tells me that you use dar for your run-of-the-mill giving and you use regalar for the special kind, the kind of giving that comes with a dose of love.
Toma mi corazón, te lo regalo.
Those are the beginning words and title of one of my favorite songs, and it illustrates perfectly how that word should be used. Take my heart, it says, I offer it to you as a gift.
That aspect of offering something as a gift is what makes special its use in this case. You might find it hard to believe that there is anything special or romantic about asking for someone’s signature on a credit card, and there may not be.
But when I’m asked to sign something in such a manner, the request comes with a good dose of gentility, of respect, and that to me is what makes it special.
So, in that spirit, here, take this post; I offer it to you as a gift.