It’s practically mandatory these days that when parting company someone offers a cheerfully upbeat send-off that is some variation of “have a good day”, have a great day”, have a nice day”, even a “splendid” one.  Whether it’s acquaintances taking leave of each other or at the conclusion of a commercial transaction, there is no escaping the well-intentioned phrase.  Still, because it’s become standard fare delivered usually by strangers, it rarely provides much of a boost.  Granted, it’s an improvement upon the smiling face, that once ubiquitous, but voiceless symbol of emotional uplift, but because the words are usually uttered with mechanical regularity, “have a nice day” does little for morale.

The supply of “great days” surely is limited.  And because not everyone is having one at that particular occasion, it may serve only to accentuate that distressing reality.  How many of your days turn out to be “nice” or “great”?  Often the best one hopes for is that the day passes quietly and that disappointments are few – and that the following day simply be OK.

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