Friday, October 21, 2005

Have a Blessed Day

Have you ever wondered why so many people in “health food” type stores appear sickly, bedraggled, and depressed? Is it because “health food” adherence leads to gastronomic boredom, risks of caloric deprivation, and a generally unhealthy obsession with dietary restriction? Or is it because people with generalized, untreatable, or undiagnosable medical problems seek out “health food” and dietary polysupplementation as a last resort to feeling better when nothing else works?

At our local “Wild Oats WholeFoods Market” there is a regular checkout clerk who looks, perpetually, like she’s having a really bad month. She sighs a lot, looks a bit disheveled, and doesn’t smile. Scanning a basket of items seems to take a lot out of her. At the end of every transaction, she says “Have a blessed day.” But her voice is monotone and Eyoric, conveying a sense of “Have a blessed day, if it’s not too much BOTHER for you” or “Have a blessed day, I’M sure not going to.”

As a person not really believing in blessing things or each other, I am puzzled and amused by this expression, and the incongruity with the speaker’s general affect. Plus, what does it really mean? Is she ordering me to be blessed? Is she expressing a hope that I will be blessed? Is she commanding the Deity(s) to bless me? And, only for today? I probably won’t return to the store for a week or so—why can’t I have a whole blessed week, so long as we’re at it?

More about blessing in the next post.