THANK YOU (thanks, thanks a bunch or gee, thanks……)
Thank you. There you go. How long did it take you to say that? Not long, right?
I was raised in a time of politeness; not that long ago. I recall as a child, my weekly trip to our ‘penny candy’ store. (Yes, I think all small Ontario towns had one).
I had 5 cents to spend and you could fill that little brown paper bag with a TON of candy for a nickel!
I was, perhaps, 6 years old. And excited. This one day a week walk to the main street (Queen Street), alone, of course, was priceless to me.
I was fairly certain I knew exactly what I wanted, but, maybe, just maybe, Alice (that was her name) had some new goodies for me!
She had just finished my baggy and I was handing her my nickel; still warm from my sweaty palm, when a neighbour lady came in. She was the town ‘busy body’. Every small town had one (at least one) of them, too!
I was just about to say my very polite ‘thank-you’ when busy body poked me in the back and said: ‘WELL, it’s obvious that ‘pleases’ and ‘thank-yous’ are few and far between this morning, Miss. Kellie!!!!!’
My cheeks flushed and I felt tears well in my eyes; she had butted in BEFORE I could even say my thank- you’s!
Wanting to just make my escape, I thanked Alice, took my bag and left. I recall not enjoying that bag of candy. I even dawdled on the way home; fearing Miss. Busy Body had phoned my Mom and reported my indiscretions; which she was in the habit of doing!!!!
Wow, that entire memory being stirred all from someone thinking that I had forgotten to say thank you!
Bringing us to the present. A recent experience whereby I (and people I had enlisted to help me in this effort) went beyond the call of duty to help someone. Should we expect praise, gratitude, and undying adulation? Absolutely not. We should never do things in anticipation of getting something in return.
Once the deed was done (and it was a large deed), I profusely thanked those who had helped me make it happen. I waited, patiently, to be thanked, myself, by the person that had received our efforts.
Just a thank you. In private; no flashing lights, dinner out, weekend away. Nothing. Plain and simple; not a word. I thought I would receive a thank you. I did not.
Perhaps I am expecting too much. Has ‘thank you’ gone by the wayside along with cassettes, floppy discs and mood rings? If it has, I didn’t get the memo.
I will continue to say thank you no matter how minute the deed. I just feel better having said it. For me, it finishes the transaction; it says, in two tiny words, ‘I appreciate that you took time out of your crazy life to help me; that you felt I was important enough to help.'
I would never expect someone to do something for me without the expectation of giving thanks. I suppose I may be in the minority. But, old habits die hard, and, for me, please and thank you are still very active words in my vocabulary.