The "Have a Blessed Day" Challenge
My professor's objection was that it was too personal, too in-my-business. What if my grandmother just died? What if I'm incredibly depressed or just got diagnosed with cancer? Telling someone to have a nice day, in those circumstances, seems wildly inappropriate, and since the clerk at the counter has no idea what kind of circumstances I'm tolerating, inserting the have a nice day remark seems inappropriately presumptuous. All of it can be avoided if people just say Thank you.
Then there's the people who don't only presume that you should have a nice day, but that you are a believer in the favor-granting powers of God. They take it one step further by saying Have a Blessed Day.
Now, if the have-a-nice-day thing was mildly irritating to me, the have-a-blessed-day thing is like nails on the chalkboard because it is so damned presumptuous, unnecessary, and it inserts god-belief, one might even say proselytizing, into that two second interaction at the gas station. The clerk is making a declaration of god-belief (evangelical, personal-Jesus god-belief, no less), and she is presuming that I share in that personal god-belief, making a neutral transaction all-of-the-sudden political. It irritates me so much that I go out of my way to avoid the clerks who I know to be Blessed-Day wishers.
What I need is a good come-back.
I don't want to say screw you, or anything particularly rude, because, you know, evangelicals just take that as they've done something good. I need a comeback that makes it clear that such admonitions are not only unwelcome, but presumptuous and uncivil. I haven't come up with a good one yet. The best I have is one I tried out a few days ago. I said: I'd feel blessed if more people would mind their own business. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, either.
So, I'm issuing a challenge: What is your best Have-a-blessed-day comeback line?
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