Sunday, July 23, 2017

No Problem!

Exactly when did people start saying “no problem” instead of 'you’'re welcome?'  I am not surprised when I hear, 'no problem' from kids, but it is curious when you hear it from adults who you know were taught to say “you are welcome.”

What does “no problem” mean. I.believe it's worth exploring. Kind of like kibitka, unless it's not like kibitka. It doesn't surprise me that you don't know kibitka, unless you played dictionary and then you would know everything. A kibitka is an old Russian wagon. However, one night in a serious Dictionary game I defined it as “a miraculous recovery. “ 
Yiddish speakers will tell you that one of the most remarkable things about the language is that the words sound like what they are, like kvetch -- where  you often elongate the middle “eh.”  Let’ take that trip down “let’s pretend memory lane.”  Someone does something nice for you.  Say a gentleman holds your chair when you are  about to sit. (Yeah, like that will ever happen).  You say thank you. He says, “no problem”. You say:
“If it were a problem, would you have still done it?”
What exactly would have made it a problem?
Honestly, if I had thought it would be a problem I would have insisted you not walk all the way over here, stood behind my chair, waste 20 maybe 30 seconds of your precious time to pull that chair back, pause, and push the chair back in.
4.  You are a thoughtful person. Thank you.

He would have said, 
“You are welcome” indicating that he was happy you acknowledged his kindness.
“No problem”, meaning, it was no trouble and I enjoyed being kind. Or “it was my pleasure”.
Hey, just one moment. I really like, “it was my pleasure”, meaning I enjoyed showing you a bit of kindness in these crazy days when people are likely to be mean, nasty or incredible selfish.

Are you trying to figure out what I am talking about but you’re not quite there? Stick around because we are going for a wild ride.

Why is it that when you put “THE” in front of something it is supposed to make it more important or significant.  Take for example when someone refers to Yale, as “The Yale”  does that change your entire perception of the importance of the school?  Who knows, but people name the towns in which they live in the same way.  Like “The Caldwells” or their cousins “The Oranges”. Today we saw a sign for “THE Yorks”.  Are they related to “the New Yorks” or did they break off from the family centuries ago and go north.  Geography is something we don't study anymore. Not that knowing where The Caldwells are will ever change your life, but the “THE” is the issue.  Suppose we called Trump, “The Trump.” how would that make you feel, more or less intimidated?  Not that he needs much help trying to intimidate folks, but do you think you would like “THE” Trump more or less than you do now.

Back to “My pleasure.”  This morning when I got up I wanted to call Carl Wagner. These were the best conversations ever because he would be dazzled by the sheer incompetence of the White House and he would explain it in a way that made you feel foolish about not seeing that for yourself.  These are the times I feel at my loneliest.  Like when I want to call Steve Daley for a laugh about the political insanity. Aunt Peppy for a recipe, or my mother to impart some of her ridiculous wisdom, (never throw anything at a pregnant woman because the  mice will eat your  clothes). Or Ronnie Wilde to get me out of trouble. There is no longer anyone to answer the call.  The list goes on.  Sorry for that moment of poignancy amidst all the insanity.

To tell you the truth, it is impossible to comment on what happens everyday, every hour.  For six months he has called the NYTimes fake news and then he gives them a two hour interview  where he says he shouldn’t have hired old “lock her up”.  Then late yesterday he was checking to see if he could pardon himself and his entire family. Huh? What does it all mean.  It gives me a headache just trying to keep up. What will happen today? Will we discover there was  a ninth person at that infamous meeting.  I figure in a few weeks we will find out that the meeting was so big and foolish it was held in a circus tent where all the clowns were active participants.

Gee wilikers. (What is a wiliker)?  Oh, now I remember.  It is a word used when you are totally out of anything else to say, like THE END.  No problem.  We’re just sayin’…..Iris

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