The month of May

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By Norma Kirkpatrick

May is the shortest name of all the twelve months.  From the old English, a may was a young maiden, as in, “now there is a comely young may.”  But, in my high school English class, “may” was a word to use asking permission, or giving permission.  Sometimes I regress and use the word as I was taught.   I recently asked a store clerk ,“May I have one of those Snickers with Almonds?”  The woman looked blank for a minute, then said, “Yes, you may.”  I’m pretty sure she muttered under her breath, if you have the money.   “Gimmie one of those candy bars,” would probably have sounded more familiar to her.
Of course, all of you know that “can” has replaced the gentility of “may”.   “Can I have one of those candy bars?”  The clerk would have handed it over with no reservations.  Can makes me think of a tin cylinder with a nice label and holding vegetables.
But, back to May; the month that is.  I am sure none of you have forgotten Mother’s Day is in May.  That is one thing we all have in common, a mother.  That is how we got here and is certainly worthy of cards, candy, flowers, hugs and memories.  That is a day one should never, ever forget, and is especially true if you want to keep the respect of your friends, neighbors, relatives, and of course, your mother!
If you forgot, it’s time to do some quick, creative shopping.  If you go to the florist, say may I have that last bouquet of roses?  If you go by a big box store, say can I have that last pair of polka dotted house slippers, any size?  And if you end up at a truck stop, say gimmie that last Snickers Bar with Almonds, and hurry.  It’s almost midnight.

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