Monday, October 26, 2015

Greetings and Salutations

The manner in which you choose to greet someone says a bit about you, or at the very least, what kind of mood you're in at that particular moment. I have recently gotten into the habit of answering my phone with a hearty "Greetings & Salutations" when a friend is calling. I don't know what started it, but my friends have already figured out that it means I'm in a jovial mood....or at least trying to be. I imagine my interest in different types of greetings comes from my years of working in a variety of customer service roles.

How you greet someone can make the other person feel welcomed or warned. It can prompt a light-hearted conversation or a quick exchange of "just the facts." Over time you may develop a perception of the greeter's overall attitude based on how they typically greet you. I started thinking about this tonight as my daughter greeted me as I got home from work with her usual "Olaf Pa Greet Ya." I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that this greeting requires a little explanation....and I'm gonna have to take you back to Texas about 25 years ago to explain it.

There was a little craft mall in Dallas, TX, called Olla Podrida (pronounced Oh-La Puh Dree least in my phonetic spelling manner). Add to this the fact that you can't live in Texas without picking up at least a little bit of Spanish, and you would know that "Hola" (pronounced Oh-La) is hello in Spanish. Adding to this formula once again that my Dad's sense of humor is about as good as my own, he eventually morphed the word "Hola" into "Olla Podrida" when he returned home from work each evening. Since I can only generate so many of my own jokes, I started saying Olla Podrida when I got home from work each night. Kids don't always seem to grasp exactly what you're saying though and they tend to twist it into their own version.

Now we are back to "Olaf Pa Greet Ya" and it's actually quite logical when I sit back and think about it. Since you apparently have nothing better to do with your time right now, I'm going to break it down for you one word at a time.

Olaf- For any of you who've somehow missed the movie Frozen, Olaf is a snowman. (The best character in the movie - in my humble opinion.) I can see why my daughter would think of Olaf when she thinks of me. We're both loveable and adorable with a great sense of humor. Or, I suppose it could be that we're both pale white and shaped like a snowman?? Either way, who could blame her?

Pa- At first I thought that was pretty self explanatory, but then realized they haven't started watching Little House on the Prairie re-runs I don't know where she would have picked up "Pa" as another word for Dad.

Greet Ya- This one is self explanatory. It is a greeting afterall.

I like to think she sees her loveable, snowman-like Dad walking into the house ready to greet ya. In reality though, I guess deep down I know it's just a misunderstanding of what I've been saying to her for years as I walk into the house. I guess I will have to start mixing it up a bit and see how she handles the change. I already have a few options at the ready. A good ol' Texas "Howdy." Maybe a "Hi ho, there neighbor" from Home Improvement, or adding some flash to it, a "Hi diddley ho there" from Ned Flanders on the Simpsons. I tried the "Greetings & Salutations" the other day, but they struggled with the Salutations part. I could try a booming "Waasssuuupp!"....but that might scare them. In the end, I'll probably have so many options running through my head that I'll get confused and end up saying something completely crazy like "hi."

Maybe I'll just stick to Olla Podrida and just giggle inside when my four year old puts her own twist on it. I can mix some of the others into my everyday life with adults who would understand them. It's not like they don't already know I'm a little "different." I think I'll wait for a future post to talk about seasonal greetings. I'm afraid that will probably end up in a rant about how I'm not supposed to say wild and crazy things like "Merry Christmas" in an effort not to offend someone. Until next time....