With every restaurant check, a chance to ‘save’
I go out to eat withmy cousin once a month, andwe take turns picking up the check.
When it is her turn to pay, she slides a religious pamphlet in with the payment, advising thewaiter orwaitress about what (according to her religious beliefs) it takes to be “saved.”
I find this proselytizing offensive and feel that it reflects on both of us, since she is paying formy meal. It seems wrong to subject thewaiter to a religious reading just to receive payment.
Any thoughts before our next outing? It’s her turn to pay.
If these pamphlets offend you, then you shouldn’t read them. They might not offend a waiter. You don’t mention talking about this, but it sounds like an ideal topic for you two cousins to discuss. Dear Amy
I disagree with your stance that it is inappropriate to ask strangers about their ethnic background.
I have lived in several countries in Africa and the Middle East. When I ask someone if Imay guess where they are from, they get excited. They think they have already won the game because they know Americans are painfully ignorant about geography.
When I guess correctly, they are thrilled that I knowtheir country and where it is located. Thenwe often have a friendly chat about their country.
Many, many timeswhen Iwas living abroad Iwas asked if Iwas British. I am American and I could easily pass for Canadian, but Iwas never offended by their incorrect guess.
An American “easily passing for Canadian” is different from someone approaching a stranger in a supermarket and guessing a person’s ethnic heritage— at least inmy mind.
Many people commented on this issue, and while those who responded agree with you that Americans are ignorant
about world geography, almost no one welcomed queries from strangers. Dear Amy
“Baffled in Brooklyn” wondered why young people respond by saying “No problem” whenever he says “Thank you.”
He seems to suffer from GVD: generational vocabulary disorder.
“No problem” is the current generation’s version of “You’rewelcome.”
Baffled’s father, as a young man, might have responded: “Aw, shucks, itwas nothin’,” after having been thanked.
Incidentally, “No problem” expresses a sentiment extremely close to the Spanish equivalent of “You’rewelcome”: “De nada,” which literally means, “Of nothing” or, more loosely, “It is nothing.”
Many readers compared “No problem” to “De nada,” and I agree that these sweet “nothings” are equivalent.
Most important, “Baffled” pointed out that the local teenagers often help him out, prompting his thanks— and that’s not “nothing,” that’s great. Dear Amy
Your effort to persuade readers to give books to children for Christmas is laudable.
My parents gave books to us. Nowmy siblings and I give books to our children. I honestly feel that this is the most significant opportunity for learning and growthwe have offered our kids.
I amdelighted to say thatmy effort to put a “Book on Every Bed” has been a runaway success.
The response has been overwhelming and the testimonials, amazing. I’ll run some of these letters in future columns.