Down East 2013 ©
So the other day, I’m on the phone to this catalogue company, right? Doing a little Christmas shopping for Charlie. When they launch into the usual spiel, “You’re a valuable customer, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…The next available representative will be with you in a moment.”
And I say, “Thank you!” It’s a recording for God’s sake!
I continue listening to some Liberace version of Jingle Bells for a minute or two, when I hear “Your call is important to us. Thank you for waiting.”
“You’re welcome!” I reply.
It’s a reflex, I guess, like blinking or breathing. See, good manners were drilled into me way back when by my parents. There’s no getting around it. Not that I’d want to. Being polite is a good thing, and has served me well over the years.
It was hard getting the hang of it at first, though. In our house, you had to say “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome.” End of story. There was none of this, “Now what do you say?” kind of thing. My parents had their own method for showing my sister Irene and me how it’s done.
“Pass the potatoes,” I’d say at the dinner table, and my parents would act like they didn’t hear me. “Pass the potatoes,” I’d repeat, a little louder. Still no response. “Dad, pass the potatoes!” Silence. Then the penny drops: “Please?”
“Here you go, Sweetie,” Dad says, passing the potatoes.
“Thank you!” You had to follow up with that, or the potatoes disappeared to the other side of the table again.
That was one of things that attracted me to Charlie when we first started getting interested in each other, back in high school. He’d hold the door open for me, like a gentleman. And he was always polite, so I knew he’d been raised like me.
To this day, we still say “please” and “thank you” to each other for the smallest things.
“Thanks for mowing the lawn, Charlie.”
“Ida, please pass me that cute little Mrs. Claus salt shaker you got down to the Christmas Tree Shop.” (Well, I embellished that one a little, but you get the idea.)
This time of year, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed, to lose patience with the hustle and bustle of it all. I know I do. When I feel things starting to get the better of me, I try to just stop and think about what I’m grateful for.
So, once I “thank you’d” and “you’re welcomed” the recording on the phone the other day, and had a good chuckle at my own expense, my next thought was, “Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad”
And thank you for reading my blog! I appreciate it!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to Ida's podcast by clicking here )