6/25/12

The "Have a Blessed Day" Challenge

Have a blessed day
I took a linguistics course from a professor whose pet peeve was clerks telling her to Have a Nice Day.  At the time, that struck me as an odd thing to make into a pet peeve.  What's wrong with telling someone to have a nice day?  Seems benign enough.  But, then I thought about it, and I can see her point.  At the point of the transaction, the only thing that needs to be said is Thank you.  You provided the goods and/or services I needed, and I provided you with the money you wanted in exchange for those goods and/or services.  Everyone is happy.  Thank you.

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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9 comments:

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BPC said...

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But how can they hear unless someone tells them? God loves you ans really did send his son to die on your behalf. Heck, what do I care if you believe it or not...but I am compelled to tell you because his love never fails!

BPC said...

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But how can they hear unless someone tells them? God loves you ans really did send his son to die on your behalf. Heck, what do I care if you believe it or not...but I am compelled to tell you because his love never fails!

Michael S Newstrom said...

I just had a conversation with my sister about this. We are both irritated worth this presumptuous statement as well.

We thought a quote from Hunger Games would be fun: "May the odds ever be in your favor."

Michael S Newstrom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael S Newstrom said...

I just had a conversation with my sister about this. We are both irritated with this presumptuous statement as well.

We thought a quote from Hunger Games would be fun: "May the odds ever be in your favor."

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Anonymous said...

Never say thank you, when they say have a blessed day; because that is rewarding to the behavior. Instead, just say " oh, and you have a nice day" . It is sort of a polite correction to their comment.

Anonymous said...

How about a simple take on the one thing they hate the most. Evolution. Maybe like "and you have an evolved day" I'm sure someone could come up with a little better but would give them a bit of there own presumption

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