Perhaps it’s the post-holiday season lull, or the lull in my brain due to a horrid head cold, but lately I find myself pondering insignificant, mundane communication transactions that occur with regularity in our daily lives.  I catch myself ruminating about things I would normally ignore.  For example, the other afternoon, when the check-out person in the supermarket told me enjoy the rest of my day, my congested brain seriously questioned her sincerity.

Granted, the conundrums upon which I’ve been dwelling are not quite as lofty as some of the greatest philosophical unanswered dilemmas of all time.  I mean, an off-handed remark one hears while food shopping cannot compare to the great chicken-or-egg puzzle, which questions the very essence of life itself.  Or the tree falling in the unpeopled forest, which has had the scientific community debating for generations.  Still, I think my queries have their own kind of validity, provided you’re into things that don’t really matter.

Meaningful or not, I’ve decided to submit my questions to the universe lest they awaken me at two in the morning.   Perhaps you have some thoughtful responses?  And please feel free to add any inane ponderables of your own!

  • Is there a specific date in January when it’s OK to stop wishing people “Happy New Year?”
  • When a friendly waiter or a store clerk off-handedly greets you with, “Hi, how are you?” and you have a horrible sinus infection, should you tell them?
  • Is it cool to inform your kids that, in spite of the fact that you love them and the grandchildren very much, two weeks is just too long for a visit?
  • When you’re browsing in a high-end retail establishment, and you accept their offer of a bottle of water but don’t make a purchase, should you return the water?
  • If you Google an answer to a crossword clue, are you cheating, or becoming better informed?
  • Is it okay to admit to your cultured friends that you hate opera?
  • Exactly how final is a “Use By” date?
  • Did the driver who ran the red light hit my car because I didn’t forward that last feel-good chain email to 10 of my closest friends?
  • Would I still have those friends if I had forwarded that chain email?
  • Is it really bad etiquette to use the Express Checkout if you have one extra item in your grocery cart?
  • When someone says that you don’t look your age, is that really a compliment?
  • How long does one woman have to know another before it’s OK to inform her that she has a hair growing from her chin?
  • And, finally, if a tree falls in the forest, and there’s no one around to hear…  No, wait, that’s not one of mine.  You don’t have to answer.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m sure glad I got those deep thoughts out in the open.  And, by the way, I don’t think there will be any more.  The antibiotic is starting to kick in!

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