By Emily Rosen
Remember that nursery rhyme with the really dumb lyrics?
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row
Well I propose a 21st Century change to :
People, People, quite acquisitive
How do your entitlements grow?
Give you a finger – you want a hand
You expect to reap more than you sow
It was Saturday morning and I handed the bank teller my deposit slip attached to my few measly checks.
As I did so, I noticed a flyer on the cage announcing a change in banking hours, alerting customers to the fact that the bank would no longer have Saturday hours.
Understand, dear readers, that I have clear memories of the days when banks closed at 3 p.m. – never to open at 3:01—and surely never on any part of a weekend. Nor did they open on a day when any human might dain to proclaim it a holiday.
But in true 21st Century “soft”-entitlement mode, “Hmmmph” went through my mind. “That’s not good.” I said to me, “I might just change banks. That’s easy enough to do.” And then, as she handed me my receipt, I tried to remember the last time I banked on a Saturday. “Not the point,” I rejoindered to my loquacious self, “It’s the principle. Other banks are open on Saturdays and I want it to be MY choice to come here or not — on a Saturday.” Such was my mindset, before I had a serious conversation with me, as in: “Really? You lived a pretty contented life when you had no choice regarding banking days. Available to you now, it has become a ‘soft’ entitlelement … ‘soft,’ as opposed to lifestyle enhancements such as Medicare and Disability entitlements … those for another column. I lingered with that thought until…
I received a call of desperation from a friend — “Emily! I need your help to print out my boarding pass for tomorrow’s flight.” Okay, okay — happy to help a friend, but the desperation in her voice made it sound dire. What if … think of it — what if, indeed, she were to arrive at the airport without her boarding pass – requiring another 5 minutes to acquire it at the terminal kiosk? How “dire” can that be? Another “soft entitlement!”
And then there’s the current most significant entitlement: the ability to learn the name of the guy who played opposite Joan Crawford in that picture — When was it? In the 1940s? What was its name? Nevermind, I’ll call Siri. I’m entitled to get that information – RIGHT NOW. But Siri doesn’t understand the question – ever! Well – hardly ever. Bummer.
All this while the world is galloping towards Armageddon.