Every day people say annoying things. They’re meaningless and pointless rote lines that replace real compassion and conversation.
It’s extra bothersome when you have a heavy or weary heart, when life has beaten you down so far you long for real concern.
If I’m having a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, how can a trite saying make it nice? Nobody ever tells me HOW to have a nice day, just to have one.
I know, you’re probably thinking I sound like Eyore and that I should remember it’s the thought that counts.
If they were thoughtful, it would count. Instead of polite conversational etiquette, they need to gimme’ something I can go on.
“Have a nice day spending this $50!”
“Have a nice day thinking about how awesome you are!”
“Have a nice day enjoying the many blessings in your life.”
“Have a nice day while I clean your three bathrooms.”
What in stuffings does this mean?
What if I want a good TWO?
It’s casual, hipster lingo, accompanied in my mind by the clichéd bobbing pony tail and snapping gum. It says, “Like, I’m too cool to really care about you, but it makes me look good by saying something.”
One way or another… I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha dinner.
This was a hit song in the 80’s. This is not a hit saying. Ya’ betcha, the more money we spend for the meal, the more getcha bothers me.
Especially if my husband’s steak my husband is gunna’ cost more than my thrift-store outfit. As Mrs. Torrence, my high school English teacher, used to say, they need to “Elevate their diction.”
Since many don’t care if my kid spilled a gallon of milk, or another spoon munged up the garbage disposal, or I haven’t slept through the night in a week, I go with FINE. That’s the customary answer to the customary question.
As a young man, my husband started following up with, “I really mean it. How ARE you?” He learned open ears open the heart’s door.
Open ears open the heart’s door.
One Sunday morning a guy shook Scott’s hand, admiring his own flexing muscles while asking “How are you?” He constantly looked everywhere but into Scott’s eyes. My hubby tested the waters of attention.
“Not so good.”
“Really?” The guy kept pumping Scott’s hand to see if anyone else was admiring his bulging biceps.
“Yea, I have furniture’s disease. My chest fell into my drawers.”
Everyone within earshot laughed, but the guy slapped Scott’s shoulder and said, “Aw, man, sorry to hear that.”
Don’t ask if you don’t care.
Call me, call me any, anytime! Yep, another hit song from the 80’s. This is usually offered after a chance meeting with a previous acquaintance. Your paths no longer frequently cross, but you have a comfortable history.
It shows a polite obligation to continue the relationship, but deflects the effort. If someone really wants to be in contact, they would CALL ME!
The real truth about these annoying things?
When I don’t feel well physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, it’s easy to pick at people’s words and motives. I sarcastically, but silently, dismiss their surface-level kindness. But, they’re being polite like their moms taught them. And rote lines can still be sincere. We all have felt the heart-balm of a smile or a few words. Splatters of kindness fall all day long, but the words must be received and not bounce off a hard heart.
When I’m annoyed by surface conversation, it can mean I have something churning beneath the surface.
Since I don’t want to spill my guts to a clerk, waitress, or past acquaintance, the reasonable solution is to stay surface and find someone I can confide in.
Because these 5 Annoying Things can be five steps into some pleasant human interaction.
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Ya do know that a) when I ask how you are, you’d better tell me for real, or I’ll put salt in your sugar next time I see you… b) my standard answer is “crazy as always”. It throws people of guard for a moment because they expect “fine”
Mindy Peltier says
Yes, I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!
I LOVE that answer! Might have to try that. I’ve also heard the spiritual answer of “I’m blessed.” But, I usually feel crazy.