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GK, I work in Europe

October 20, 2004 |

GK,
I work in Europe with an international group of colleagues. In July, a nice Canadian colleague wished me a happy Independence Day. I almost replied, 'Happy Independence Day to you, too' when I remembered that Canadians don't have independence. Wanting to say something friendly in return, I wished him a happy Co-dependents day. Apparently that was not the correct thing - I guess I was absent when we had the Social Studies unit on Canada, or maybe that was one of the units Mrs. Martinez skipped so we could spend enough time on the Phillipines.

You went to school when people studied geography and really learned things about foreign lands. Any idea what would have been the right thing to say, besides 'Thank you'?

Nel

Well, there you are, Nel. Thank you. That's exactly the right thing to say when a Canadian says something pleasant about the U.S.A. You're confused about this only because Canadian compliments are so rare. Those buggers are bitter toward us and so he probably meant the greeting ironically and so you made the sharp retort. You would have done better to toss out a back-handed "Thank you" with a snide tone to it.

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