My side note: TGIF. February has been the month that just kept on going and going with no resting moment... (With only myself to blame), I'm kind of pissed at myself for not having gotten in one single blog post last month (February)... ...
Anyways, the post I shoulda woulda coulda have written last month is about this inside (no longer inside) "joke" my husband and I have with each other. It's all about, "thank you" and "you're welcome".
So simple. These are one of the very first simple pleasantries of social etiquette you learn as a very young child. What comes after, "thank you"? Why, it's "you're welcome!"
I'm going to point this out (on behalf of myself and my husband), and then you will start hearing it everywhere - the radio, at work, after dinner with friends, in gift-giving situations, on NPR, on the news, on television shows.... Today (and I mean it in the current times, say the past 5 years to today sense), you'll hear the following series, "thank you".... "[no], thank you". I think maybe a few years ago, maybe it was 5 years ago, maybe it's been going on for a decade, but at SOME point, "thank you - you're welcome", became "thank you - no, thank YOU!" .... which became "thank you - no, thank you" .... which became "thank you - thank you".
Thank you [for having me on your radio show].
[No] Thank you [for coming onto my radio show].
This might only be me, it might only be our thing (me and my husband) - but I really wonder, have we as a society lost our sense of grace, humility, and social etiquette, that we cannot accept a thank you from someone? The way it feels (more than it sounds) when you really sit and stew on this for moment, it feels like that the person who follows the "thank you" with a "thank you" is saying the following: No, I will not accept your thanks. I didn't do anything for you, because really, implicitly, I did whatever I did for me. I'd rather you accept my thanks, because that'll make me feel a little more comfortable. Really at the end of the day, I need to acknowledge you did the favor for me. I'm the one that benefited here. I am unworthy of the thanks - it was not my pleasure to serve you. I'd feel more comfortable acknowledging that it was you that has just served me by saying thank you instead.
Is that what you feel when you think about this? Are we that weirded out as a society from the idea that it's OKAY (actually, REALLY GOOD) to serve another person? And after having lovingly and graciously served another person, when receiving words of gratitude, are we as a society disturbed with the idea of OWNING the act of service by saying "you're welcome"? What's wrong with taking care of another? What's wrong with giving to another?
Try it. After someone says "thank you" to you, follow it old school with a gracious "you're welcome". You're welcome says that your action/gift/service/words was intentional. I was happy to do it. I am happy to have you over. I am happy to host you. I enjoy making your life better. I wanted to share with you those true words. I'd do it again. I accept your gratitude.