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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