Don’t You Know What “Bless Your Heart” Means?

Well, Bless Your Heart

It’s no secret to anyone, really, that “bless your heart” really isn’t a blessing. If we are standing in line at the grocery store, and I see someone I haven’t seen in a while and the person asks me if I’ve been sick, and I haven’t been, and then the person says “Well, bless your heart”, she isn’t blessing me. She’s insulting me. So, unless you intentionally want to insult someone and have them know it, be careful saying “bless your heart.” And, good grief, don’t ever add “little” in front of “heart” – “bless your little heart” – what did I ever do to you?

So, since the secret is out, we need to find a new phrase.

Let me tell you a little story…

There once were three friends who had gone to high school together. Several years passed after they graduated, and they each had gone their separate ways. They decided to meet, have lunch, and catch up.

One of the women starts talking and tells the other two that she went to law school, graduated at the top of her class, became a partner in a prominent law firm, and is going to be featured soon in a national magazine for women in business. One of the other women says “That is fantastic. I mean that is truly fantastic.”

The other woman then tells how she married a doctor who adores her, they live in the best neighborhood, have the most beautiful children who go to the most prestigious private school, she drives the nicest car, and she and her family go to the most exotic locations each year for vacation. Again, the same woman says “hey, wow, that is fantastic. Really, you are fantastic.”

So, these three ladies sit there finishing their lunches and sipping their iced tea, making polite conversation, and the two women who had shared their stories wait patiently for the third to give the details of her life.

Finally, the lawyer asks “So, what have you been doing since graduation?”

The third woman finishes her lunch and puts her napkin on her plate. She says “Well, after we graduated from high school, my parents sent me to the best finishing school in the South, where I received the very best education money could buy.”

This makes the lawyer laugh and the doctor’s wife smile and ask “Really, what did you learn at finishing school that was so great?”

The third woman grins and says “The most valuable piece of information I’ve ever learned is to say FANTASTIC instead of Bulls@#!”

So, I guess when people say “bless your heart” to me, I can just start saying “well, that is fantastic!”

About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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