Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Or, "What ever happened to, 'You're welcome.'?"

I do realize that fancy manners and civility are going the way of the pogo stick. No one knows how to set a table properly or which side plate to use anymore. No one writes thank-you notes anymore. (Which raises a question I'd love to ask Miss Manners: When are e-mail thank-yous sufficient?)

But in my prematurely curmudgeonly way, I have to speak out. Or blog out, as it were. I am annoyed when, after I thank someone for a service he or she has rendered, I get an, "Uh-huh?" as a response. I hear this most often in stores, after I thank the cashier for ringing up my sale. (What can I say? I'm Canadian; we either apologize or thank everyone we meet.) The salesperson absentmindedly grunts, "Uh-huh?" with an upward inflection that makes it a question.

It feels so dismissive. It's just a small step better than, "Whatever." (An admittedly huge step better than, "Whatevs.")

And here's the worst part: I've actually caught myself doing the uh-huh grunt. I know! It's shameful. I know better, and yet I'm absorbing the vernacular. It just ... happens.

So I'm consciously trying to force myself to pause that millisecond so I can remember to say, "You're welcome," instead of grunting dismissively and questioningly. I don't expect to stem the uh-huh tide, but I look forward one day to being that sweet, little, old curmudgeon who still says, "You're welcome," perhaps with a "dearie" appended.

Thanks for letting me vent.


1 comment:

  1. Haha, I honestly just thought that was a Southern thing... it used to bother me too, though if I were to pay closer attention I may be horrified to find I probably do it (this sounds better than "say it" because it really is more of a noise than words) now too.


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