I did something nice for an old lady the other night, and she turned and said, “Thank you, and god bless you!”

No matter the circumstance – after a sneeze, after a kind word or deed, whatever – I just cringe whenever anybody says these words to me. I can’t help it! It’s an involuntary response. God bless you is just “one of those things you say”, left over from the days of the bubonic plague. But, instead of saying, “Don’t pester me with all that voodoo god believing bullshit”, all I could do was smile and offer a sweet and spineless, “You’re welcome.”

As much as people irritate me with their constant whining and wastefulness and needing to maintain and inflate their precious little egos, I actually have a rather soft spot for my fellow human mammals, and there is this small part of me that believes that, yes, if we could just stand around in a circle and sing Kum Ba Yah, then everything would be just hunky-dory. (I guess some of my highest ideals are still dangling by a thread.)

Don’t worry – I’m not getting all “foo-foo” on you infidels. I am just thinking: Do I really need to be full of dissent and anger all the time? I mean, so what if she believes in a 24/7 surveying celestial father figure who presumably has the power to rid the world of suffering and yet, for all the claims of his benevolence, has repeatedly withheld said power? I held the door for an old lady, she thanked me quite sincerely, it was a nice human Hallmark-card-material moment. In that moment, I could forgive her for being religious and superstitious – she was just being really nice, just as I had been.


Then, moments later, I read an article about “abstinence-only” education in public schools and I got pissed off all over again. Heh. Go figure.