Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy... Holidays?

I'm having to make do without the India-based members of my team as they take the day off to celebrate the first day of Diwali. This made me feel bad for my Indian co-workers here who are coming into the office like it's just any ordinary day.

As soon as I got in, I ran into my buddy S. (I'm not protecting his anonymity, it's just that his name is really long and probably spelled exactly as it sounds.) Trying to get into the spirit, I wished him Happy Diwali. He thanked me then explained he and his family don't really celebrate the holiday as they're Christian.

Okay, so it's a little more complicated than I thought. Since I never want to offend anyone, I'm going to stick with the inoffensive* "Happy Holidays". Then if I get a funny look I can say, "You know... Halloween?"

Or as S. calls it, "Monster Day". His wife is due to deliver their baby any day now and yesterday he told me that he hopes the baby's not born on Monster Day. It took me a minute to realize he meant October 31st. I explained that my brother was born on Monster Day, so I know what he means.

This exchange was fresh on my mind when later in the day I got a text from my Sister: "Today is Scott's birthday. He knows how to text now, here's his number..."

You mean my busy-body-know-it-all Sister – who somehow has the impression I own neither a calendar or an address book – got a birthday wrong? Call it a character flaw, but the opportunity to correct her was too sweet to pass up.

"No it's not. Scott's birthday is next week." Send. Wait.

"Oops. Well, I'm being proactive then."

"If by 'proactive' you mean 'wrong', yes you are. ;-)"

I haven't seen the statistics, but I'm convinced the incidence of domestic violence has surely declined since the invention of the emoticon. It makes me feel bad for my parents' generation who had to resort to using their actual emotions to qualify their snarky comments, often with tragic consequences.

* Except for my Fox News-watching uncle who finds the use of "Happy Holidays" to be highly offensive.


  1. the invention of the emoticon is a powerful thing

  2. I'm thinking the invention of the emoticon has increased violence - everyone w/their passive-aggressive smiley faces. It's like you guys in the south saying "well, bless your heart", when you really mean "go f#@k yourself".


  3. except for that pesky "dumb bitch" emoticon...

  4. I love emoticons... I hope you had a nice "Monster Day". It was friggin chilly as all hell here.