Posted by David
on Dec 20, 2002 in Upside-down Hippo
| 0 comments
That time has come again.
No, not 20 December, which comes more or less regularly (or even 24 December, my birthday, which returns with an increasingly alarming frequency); I refer to Goblin’s and my proclivity for scrounging around in other people’s emailboxes. It is a weakness in which we would not have to indulge if anyone were to write us directly, but we understand. It is a busy time of year: shopping to do, countries to invade. Our work is never done.
So, without further ado, today’s purloined letter:
Dear Miss Manners: My husband greets everyone with a smiling, hearty “Good morning,” “Good afternoon” or “Good evening.” If the recipient does not repeat the same message in return, he says it again, a bit louder and more emphatically.
This usually gets him the reply he wants, but if not, he’ll say: “You’re not sure?”
The person will say: “What?”
He’ll say: “Whether or not it’s a good morning!”
At this time of the year, he does the same thing with “Merry Christmas.”
If the clerk, for example, doesn’t say it back, he’ll get a little closer to them and say it again. If they come back with: “Happy Holidays,” he’ll say: “No, I said Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays.”
One clerk said: “We are not permitted to say ‘Merry Christmas.’ ” My husband then demanded to see the STORE manager. The FLOOR manager appeared and my husband lectured him on the fact that this worldwide Christian celebration is what was making his cash register ring. The least he could do was to acknowledge the cause.
I make sure I’m busy at another counter, but, believe it or not, in this example a few people started applauding him, which only gave him more confidence for the next encounter. What can I do to make him stop doing this?
My dear friend Miss Manners was more genteel in her response, but I will get directly to the point: I hate your husband, and I hate you for marrying him. Our president becomes red in the face talking about Saddam Hussein and his alleged crimes against humanity, but the real danger to our society comes in the form of people like your husband, who suffer a pathological need to impose their brand of belligerent cheer on an innocent and unsuspecting populace.
Actually, I am uncertain the emotion qualifies as cheer, which is defined as a feeling of general well-being and optimism. If there is optimism in this behavior, it is the anticipation of snagging someone in his verbal bear trap, baited with pleasantries. Sanctimonious glee would be more accurate: if his greeting is returned in kind, fine. If it is not, as all control freaks do, he delights in foisting his personal morals and preferences upon the world. Either way, he gets what he wants. And while “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” and “Merry Christmas” seem innocuous enough, it is a slippery slope to the Defense of Marriage Act, internment camps, and John Ashcroft.
You ask how you might stop your husband’s behavior, and as you know perfectly well, you cannot. Murder is an appealing solution, but an unlikely one, considering that you lack the chutzpah even to stand up to him as he plays his merry and sadistic game. Divorce, then. But make sure he knows exactly why you are doing it. People like that need to see that there are repercussions to their actions.
Good morning good morning good morning!
*lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick*
I like the mornings! Daddy gets up and says are you hungry? And I say yes yes yes yes yes I’m hungry! And then I eat and then I go out and poop. Poop poop poop!
I am always happy happy happy and I like to say good morning and good afternoon! I say it with a lick but Daddy says no licking! So I say it with a lick anyway.
Oh yeah. Advice.
Your husband looks cheerful but he is mean mean mean! Also insecure. Don’t bother telling him everyone hates what he does because he will feel like a martyr and do it more. He knows it anyway (mean mean mean!). Don’t bother telling him how embarrassed you are because he doesn’t care. He is trying to embarrass people even though he is incapable of feeling that himself.
*scratch scratch scratch scratch*
Make him sign up for anger management therapy or get a divorce. Either way make sure you’re not around when he pulls this stunt again.