Daily Prompt: Yours Sincerely

Feldbrunnen to Langendorf via Solothurn 02.11 (3)

I wonder how many of the letters the local postman is delivering finish with the words “Yours sincerely”. None, of course, because the letters are probably all written in German, perhaps some French, and they have other ways of closing a letter, me living in Switzerland. They are only words, after all, just a way of closing what your wrote, and you only used “Yours sincerely” if you happened to know the person you are writing to personally. You would not write “Yours sincerely” if your were answering a demand for payment that you forgot, or never intended to settle. That letter would land in the garbage in any case. Perhaps you are writing a letter to an unpopular relative in thanks for a gift they sent. The relative only did it because it is a relative, and it was a cheap piece of rubbish she sent in any case: a vase in colours you do not like, and it even had a crack in it. Your write to thank her for the gift to be sincere. You would not close the letter with “Yours insincerely” although you would like to.

Are we sincere or is it just words? Being sincere is not something I care to discuss, because for me it goes without saying. On the other hand how often are we asked “How are you” just as an automatic greeting. Do the others really want to know all the details of your state of mind, body and health. Perhaps you have just murdered your husband, but that is not something you would actually tell them. Try answering with the truth, tellilng them you feel ill, the husband has left you for another woman so you killed him and have just buried him in the garden, your purse was stolen, the cat disappeared and has not yet come home and you have to go to the hospital. Who cares? some do and some do not.

Am I such a mean person that I really do not know what to write? I am being sincere and telling everyone that this subject just bores me. I must really be an ignorant person, ignoring the others and only thinking of myself. I just sincerely ate a banana for digestive purposes, it does me good. I do not know if the banana was being sincere, but it tasted fine. Mr. Swiss just ironed a few things sincerely. He did it with care. The ironing board is still in the room and I will put it back in its place, sincrely of course.

Being sincere is a boring state of affairs. Let’s have a day, a week perhaps, where we are mean, insincere, devious and trivial, just for the fun of it. I am sure you will have more fun than usual. Instead of smilies as an icon on your smartphone or on your Facebook page, try it with miseries, and then you can write a blog about being a miserable person. It would be something completely different and definitely more interesting. I just went searching for a sad face icon, but they cost dollars. You cannot even be miserable and insincere for free, you have to pay for it.

😦 😦 😦 😦

Daily Prompt: Yours Sincerely

7 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Yours Sincerely

  1. Well, you know, around here people always ask “How are you?” and we have a commonly shared, grammatically incorrect answer we share, too. When I moved back to Colorado I was thrilled to be able to say it again and hear it again. “How are you today?” “I’m good. How are you doing?” “Good.” Sometimes people say, “Glad it’s Friday,” or “Glad I get off work in 15 minutes,” or “I been worse” but no one says anything negative.

    I realized at some point in my teaching career what that means. It’s acknowledging the existence and humanity of the other person. It’s not a question at all. I figured this out after many Swiss and German students used the “How are you?” as a was to prove their stereotype that Americans are superficial. “Ja, they don’t really care how I am, so why do they ask?” Meanwhile, a bunch of agnostics in Switzerland and Germany are wishing God’s blessings on strangers in their cultural version of acknowledging the existence of the person passing them on the sidewalk.

    So I dunno. I think these social conventions are SOMETHING sincere, but it isn’t in the words, as for “Sincerely, Lamont T. Sheep” well, Lamont says if you have to say you’re sincere, then you’re not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I noticed in my New York week that complete strangers were asking how are you and then carrying on with something else, not even expecting or waiting for an answer. I only get asked by people I know in day to day life, so I give an answer. Since have my MS diagnosed, after 30-40 years, people tend to ask more intensely, but that is being sincere as far as I am concerned.
      Sincere is no bit deal with me, it just goes without saying, otherwise I do not have to bother. I never thought of “Gruss Gott being religious, just a way of speech. Anyhow we Swiss have reduced it to Gruetzi (or Gruessech according to where you live), so again we got away with it.
      And the english seem to do nothing, at least I cannot remember anything particular. No hand shake, perhaps a hello, but we always were a cool tribe.

      Liked by 1 person

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