Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fr. Horn

Arriving just in time for a meeting yesterday, I took the last empty chair and had almost set my books down when a member of the group eagerly said, "You have a new license plate!  Is that your license plate we saw out back?"  I assured them that I do not have a new license plate.  "Then that must be your husband's!  We wondered if it was yours or if he is visiting us."  Well, he does not have a new license plate.

"But who else's can it be?" someone asked.  "It says Fr. Horn!  It has to be your car."  Hmm.  How many ways can I say no?  Neither of us would choose those words for a vanity plate.  (I might, on the other hand, choose 127 BCP, but that's not likely, either.)

Finally, someone asked, "What does the car look like?"  It was described as a Jeep-like vehicle, with bumper stickers all over.  (That definitely does not describe my car.)  "What sort of bumper stickers?" I asked.  "Musical instruments."  Well...aha!

Our church houses a branch of the university's music department.  The car belongs to a French Horn player, evidently.  Sure glad we cleared that up.

Friday, March 15, 2013

No problem

Six is the number of times this week that I've received "No problem" in response to my having said "Thank you." Aside from feeling a bit obnoxious that I actually decided to count these exchanges, I'm curious about what seems to be a growing tendency to abandon a simple "You're welcome."

Most of these "No problem" responses took place in a coffee shop or restaurant.  When I met with local clergy a few days ago for a monthly luncheon, we were seated at a large, round table.  Our efficient waiter refilled water glasses and responded in these ways to our saying thanks:  "Sure," "Yep," and a nod of the head.  But when he reached me, he said "No problem." 

I wonder whatever happened to "You're welcome."  Those of you who read this blog probably know that I'm not enough into pop culture or television to know where other phrases that mystify me originated, either, such as "Just sayin'" and "I know, right?"

While I realize that basic acts of hospitality or just doing one's job might, in fact, be No Problem, I also confess to becoming grumpier by the month to think that we're losing track of those words that Miss Manners (shudder) no doubt included in her book of etiquette.  I wonder if, in these last six months before turning 60, grumpiness just might be perfectly all right.  Just sayin'.