Save Blessings for Sneezes


veterans+park (1)“Have a blessed (pronounced blest) day”: the four words I never want to hear from a colleague, car mechanic—or gloved gastroenterologist on removing a 7-foot colonoscope from my caboose.

When exactly did, “Have a blessed day” take over from “Nice to see you,” or “Enjoy your evening”? When did everyone and his uncle become a lay preacher or ordained clergy?

I own my blessings: health, loving family and friends, good times, and a juicy hamburger every once in a while. I don’t need or want your benediction. Who put you in charge?

Perhaps this discriminatory rhetoric is part of the curriculum—Salutations for Real Christians and True Americans 101 (pass or fail)—at institutions of lower learning in rural pockets where IQs top out in single digits, first cousins marry, and Creationism is worshipped.

Please, if you see me walking toward you, stifle the urge to utter, “Have a blest day,” with its blatant religious overtones. If I said, “Go f*ck yourself and the donkey you rode in on,” would you say, “Thank you”?  “And the same to you”?

Pax vobiscum I can live with.  But for a hollow greeting of goodwill, I much prefer, “I hope you get what you deserve” or “Stay out of jail.” Both get the job done and offend no one.

When I shop for groceries, I’m after efficiency and accuracy. You don’t have to like my parka. Or even notice if I’m clothed or naked. Don’t feel obligated to chat me up. I didn’t stand in line for 10 minutes because I’m looking for a compliment, movie date, or faith healer.

Deduct my discount. Give me the right change. I’ll thank you for not heaping a 3-pound can of baked beans on my tomatoes.

The same applies at the bank, or when I pick up dry cleaning or a pizza. Or have a prescription filled. Or rent a car. Or pay a check.

A smile works miracles. But hold the mustard, onions, and four little words. Save them for your fellowship group.

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3 thoughts on “Save Blessings for Sneezes”

  1. I get you Beth. I’m pretty sure most people use salutations that don’t require a response. “How are you?” has the risk of someone actually answering.

    1. Suzette:

      If the words are “well meant,” by all means, bring ’em on. Too often I think they’re hollow, mechanical. Speaking of which, if you find a good mechanic, I’d appreciate the contact info. Have a GOOD day.

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