I am not exactly certain the precise moment in my life when the simple act of saying hello began to catch me off guard. It seems that a nod of the head and a slight glance in my direction is enough effort to pass as a mutual acknowledgment.
It should be noted that I neither lack nor discourage the practice of manners, cordial greetings included; I am just not accustomed to their everyday use (sad).
In no way am I intending to rebuke the polite thank you that was extended my way at an undisclosed Safeway location, but come on … “MA’AM?!”
I instantly felt my hair graying, my arthritis kick in and looked down to double-check that my stilettos hadn’t morphed into tan orthopedics with Velcro.
To double frost the cake, Daniel – who has been proudly serving me since 2002 – initiated the transaction with a “Hello, young lady”. How had I aged 50 years during the less than two-minute act of buying Lucky Charms, toothpaste and an InStyle magazine?!
The look of bewilderment upon my face must have been transparent as Daniel so innocently looked up from my receipt and fearfully squeaked out “you saved $1.19 today.”
I was not consoled.
Shaking my head I proceeded out the door and immediately updated my Facebook status, longing for a witty reply from one of my friends that might offer explanation.
Nothing. Three people liked it.
Begrudgingly I have still not abandoned my love for hellos, thank yous or manners in general, I just urgently caution all of you to use them wisely. When in doubt, smile and nod. Better to be rude than to call a 26-year old “MA’AM!”