We say, “Thanks,” a lot. I realize we hold the ideal that we should be thankful for everything and anything, but if I were to teach English to those who want to learn it, one of my first cultural lessons would be that we walk around saying thanks to everyone we come in even brief contact with.
It comes when someone fingers the door open after them while they walk through it. It comes for someone who rings up our total or hands us our product, but it comes from that person too because they appreciate our business or because they’re trained to say it. It comes when we’re done with our test and from the person we hand the test to. It’s often toward the end of a phone conversation or with a consultation with a professor.
It’s said so often that it’s become courtesy rather than genial thankfulness. Often a look between connected eyes will have more genuine feeling than anything ever said. Doesn’t it seem odd that “thank you”s are exchanged so often?