Take Me Somewhere Else
I’m going to start this with “Happy Birthday”. The first few times you hear “Happy Birthday” on your day of celebration, it’s nice. People are acknowledging this is your ONE day out of the whole year. After hearing “Happy Birthday” for the fortieth time it begins to sound foreign. After the sixtieth time, you silently wish people would just stop saying it.
The same rule usually applies to “I’m sorry” after someone close to you dies. It starts to sound hollow, and it’s just something someone says because it’s written in the Human Handbook of Manners And Etiquette somewhere. The other one is “Gawdbleshewe” when someone sneezes. No one really means what they’re saying, it’s just something that’s said and that is that and life goes on.
Which brings me to “Thoughts and Prayers” after a bombing, or a mass killing, or a truck plowing through a group of people, or when your pet dies or your grandmother is in a coma. Is the sentiment doled out in the same dosage? Or is it a certain amount given to a certain level of tragedy and then the rest is tucked away in case something else happens later on in the week? I don’t believe in the Christian deity, so thoughts and prayers seem pretty darn useless to me.
I was in the hotel lobby getting something to drink (alright…it was a Coke) and the woman told me to have “a blessed night”. I didn’t know what to come back with, so I just said “Sure.” I came back to the hotel room. Tim and I began a dialogue (like we’ve always done for the past twenty years) about what WE can come up with that would sound as silly to the people who throw us Christianity as their silly salutations sound to us. I’m not sure we came up with any good ones.
We can’t use the phrases of peace and love that we all know from the movies. Imagine if someone said,”Have a blessed night,” and we did the Vulcan finger split and replied, “Live long and prosper.” No, that wouldn’t work.
What if they throw a “God bless you,” in our direction like they have some sort of management authority on who God blesses and when He doesn’t? And then we could reply, “May the force be with you,”. I’m not so sure we could get away with that one either without a light saber.
Another one we hear all the time here in Florida is, “Praise Jesus,”. We could always tell them, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” We don’t want to yell and spittle all over the place. So we can’t use that one.
So we’ve decided to use, “Namaste”. It’s peaceful, heartfelt, and after a few weeks of having to train Tim how to say it (it’s taken four times already to get him to say it right) then we can work on actually trying to pretend like we mean it. Just like everyone else with their sentiments of silliness.
Or we can just hand them a roll of paper towels. I hear that’s a grand gesture in itself. That should cover everything that people throw at us. “Here, have some paper towels.” Yeah, we’re going to go with that one.