Except among those I know well, I try not to let my adept use of critical thinking open me to charges of being a smart-ass. I wish that others would strive to live by rational precepts, but I can only try to persuade and set a good example. Lamentably, the Golden Age of Plato’s Philosopher Kings has not yet arrived. The French did their best to effect it during their Revolution, but the Cult of Reason led many to lose the organ devoted to it.
In the meantime, I can only do my small part. To wit, responding to meaningless exhortations to enjoy a given holiday by questioning its relevance and appropriateness to me personally.
“Happy 4th of July!”
“Thank you; I’m very proud of the role I played. I’d sign an autograph, but I seem to have misplaced my quill pen.”
We recently had Flag Day and Father’s Day back-to-back. Two or three thoughtless individuals wished me a “Happy Father’s Day!” Perhaps they assumed that my manifest virility had led me to sire a raft of offspring, but that’s still quite an assumption.
Or perhaps they were making inferences about my relationship to my father, who’s been dead for eight years now. Yet I see about a score of flags every day, and no one bothered to wish me a “Happy Flag Day!”
On Memorial Day, I heard several people say “Happy Memorial Day! to any vets.” When I pointed out that only mediums can justifiably pronounce such a greeting, I was looked at as a flag-burning commie.
Or perhaps they were being sardonic, as in, “Why didn’t you throw yourself on a grenade or something?”
I checked with a friend who is currently in the military for her take on the matter.
“You’re right! Some of my ‘friends’ on Facebook actually wished me a Happy Veterans Day. Fucking morons.
“With [Memorial Day], it’s like, ‘Happy Dead Soldiers Day. Enjoy your hot dog and beer’.”
I literally LOLed at that. LLOL?
And I certainly don’t want to hear “Happy Valentine’s Day!” from anyone I am not in romantic love with.
Why do some have this compulsion to unthinkingly make platitudinous greetings? Because that’s what they feel they’re supposed to say for comity. They feel that the intelligent thing to do is to follow the established customs.
Maybe someday there will be a Brian Day, created to honor me for implementing world peace, curing cancer, and getting people to use their turn signals. And all in one fell swoop. Then I can sincerely say, “Thank you.”
Until then, my only authentic response to such bromides can be a “Bah humbug.”
Or do I need to come up with a unique response for each holiday?
“Oh just sod off.”…