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Life Arts    H4'ed 1/11/10

"You're Welcome"

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Forgive me someone, for I have sinned. Andy Rooney is channeling through me on this cold January morning. Please put his voice in your head as you read this so I can get him out of mine.

Back in the old days (which loosely translated, was not that long ago) the script went something like this:

Server brings food, friend returns borrowed item, neighbor lends a hand, sales person rings up purchase and puts it in a bag, valet brings car, nurse changes bandage, complete stranger holds door open (you get the picture); Person A offers, brings or does something for someone else. Simple enough.

Recipient of these goods, favors or services (Person B) says, "Thank you."

Person A replies, "You're welcome".

Way back when (has it been ten years, already?) Person A might have changed it up a little by saying, "You're very welcome". There was a time when Person A would sometimes even mean it and throw in a smile on his/her face to prove it.

Apparently, I'm nothing more than a nostalgic dinosaur because I don't see or hear this happening much anywhere anymore. Today's Person A is too busy and preoccupied to say, "You're welcome" and now has acquired the irritating habit of responding to, "Thank you" with two words that are almost as irritating as Rush Limbaugh:

"No problem".

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Patricia A. Smith is a writer and artist (and sometimes both at the same time). A former columnist, restaurant critic and cruise line executive, Smith has lived in London, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Egypt, Costa Rica and France. She returned (more...)
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