Wednesday, March 16, 2005

"Have a Great Day!"

When we were in Oxford, preparing to move to Boulder, Greg would receive emails from the department secretary in Colorado. She always signed her emails “Have a Great Day!” This just seemed so surreal in Oxford. No sane person would say that sort of thing to you there, especially not followed by an exclamation point. We joked that we would soon be saying to each other, “I’ve had it up to here. If one more person tells me to ‘Have a Great Day’ I’m going to…” What if you didn’t feel like having a great day? What if you weren’t?

It reminded me of when I lived in center-city Philadelphia and a friend who was living in Santa Cruz complained about the culture there: “If I see one more person doing tai-chi at the bus stop…” From where I sat that sounded pretty good. In Philadelphia it was, “if I see one more pimp beat up his prostitute…” or “if I see one more drunk, passed out or dead on the steam grates…” If tai-chi at the bus stop was the only thing you could complain about, life was pretty good. I looked forward to living in a place where I could be annoyed when told to “Have a Great Day!”

I don’t know what it is here, the sun, the shallowness, the beauty, the relative prosperity, but somehow “Have a Great Day!” just seems to fit. Doesn’t bother me at all. But then there is my neighbor. If I see him and say, “Hi, how’s it going?” he will respond with relish, “I’m LOVIN’ Life!” Good for him, I think, but it isn’t that sharing just a little too much information?

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