Dean Clough

April 7, 2021

Portico Darwin: I Thank You

Disclaimer:  I do what I'm faulting others for in the rant that follows.

With that said:  enough with the overwrought thank you's to wait staff.  To baristas.  To the people that wash your car.  To any server or laborer that's directly doing something for you. 

Friends, they're doing their jobs, and our virtue signaling via the overly melodramatic "thank you SO much"'s and "you are SO wonderful"'s is demeaning.  Not to us.  But rather to these very people to whom we're trying to express sincere gratitude.  Fetching half and half from the service area for your coffee <> safely landing your airplane in a violent snowstorm.  So while I am nothing if not mannered, "thank you" is required but also enough in ordinary circumstances.  Which most circumstances are - ordinary.

As above, I do the over-thank you bit myself on occasion.  On Saturday morning at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on our way down here, I went down to the lobby for coffee. For whatever reason, they were ignoring the norm and didn't simply have big carafes of java set out.  It was 6:45AM.  The front desk clerk says "they start serving at 7, but if you ask, she'll likely give you a cup now".   Great.  It happened.  A woman poured me a cup of black coffee into a disposable cup. 

My response?  Not "Thank you."  Rather, I felt compelled to double-down, and do a "Hey, I really appreciate that - thank you SO much."   I may have even said the overly-gooey sentence twice.  Get my point?  This fine person was simply doing her job.  But out of income inequality guilt or whatever, my gratitude reached a level appropriate only for an airline gate clerk after an upgrade to first class.

Why?  I do think it's guilt.  For me, I often find myself in environments and situations I never dreamed of being in growing up.  Face it:  if you're reading this, I doubt you're serving anybody anything, at least in the way I mean this.  So, as humble as most/all of us are, we wiggle out of our guilt at people serving us by going overboard on the gratitude.  Again, I do it.  But I think it's demeaning to those serving us, so I'm going to try to do it less.

Palm Springs?  Oh yeah.  But the lights still don't dim in the kitchen and frankly it's just too damned perfect down here in early April.  We had a fabulous time at the same house in July, the single worst month, weather-wise (daily highs, >=115 degrees Fahrenheit) in Palm Springs.  But we had no idea what it's like here when it's not Satan's mancave - and what it is like is desert perfection:  sunny days with highs in the low 90's and cool nights that go down into the 50's.  But the pool is heated, and the fine aged Zacapa (we're onto bottle #2!)  takes the edge off of every plunge. 

Thank you for reading this blog.

Andre Aurich rightfully chimed in from he and ageless wife Rikki's luxuriant Tiburon compound about my list of America's greatest musicians.  As promised, here's his unedited reply.

"No woman on your top 5  musicians?   very un PC.   joni mitchell, carol king, taylor swift (that last one is still a WIP)?" 

100% agree (although he spelled Carole's name incorrectly, and Taylor Swift?  Take out Bob Dylan and add Taylor Swift?), and to Andre's list, I add the incomparable Aretha Franklin.  But I do ask Andre and everyone else, what name comes off that list to accommodate one or more of the fairer sex?

So great to hear from the rising young executive and TEECOM enforcer Kevin Monza - he was kind enough to read this blog during the 15 minute cool-down after getting jabbed in the arm with dose 1.   Well done.

And coincidentally, a current colleague of Kevin's, and a former of mine, close buddy Miguel Shannon chimed in at the same time with pointed questions regarding the derivation of his name here in the blog.  Isn't that a family matter?

Bonus matchmaking!  This blog reaches tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of passionate readers.  Some even have jobs and a full set of teeth.  Given this extraordinary reach, I thought I'd point out to our lady readers that both of these fine gentlemen, Kevin and Miguel, while not only being great friends, are also two of the most eligible bachelors in the SF Bay Area.  No joke - Kevin's in his late 20's and Miguel his late 30's.  Both are handsome, fit, very smart, successful and at least Kevin's got a great sense of humor.  I had the privilege of working with both, and I have nothing but respect and gratitude for both of them.  As thanks, I will now stop at nothing until one or both has to deal with a wife for the rest of their lives.

Lastly, I was pleased that Palm Springs housemates Louise and Byron were OK with their blog names.  A good thing as that might have made our poolside dining a bit uncomfortable otherwise . . .

A big thank you to those that reach out with comments, kind and otherwise!

This is the easiest yet.  Here is ZZ Top and their best album, "Deguello," in all its pristine 96 kHz/24bit high-res goodness.   You're soooo welcome!

About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.