Caspar Milquetoast is a wimpy comic strip character created by H.T. Webster from 1924- into the 50’s. Caspar’s last name is a deliberate misspelling of a bland and fairly inoffensive food appropriate for someone with a weak or nervous stomach. Webster described Caspar Milquetoast as “the man who speaks softly and gets hit with a big stick”. The modern dictionary definition of milquetoast (meaning a very shy or retiring person) comes from Webster’s cartoons.
Now there are obvious elements of this kind of person that are good; We don’t want to be offensive, sometimes someone who is nervous is cute, speaking softly with our indoor voice when we’re indoors is a good thing. But I submit that there are some areas where this will get you average or below average goods, services, or worse. Sometimes if we say something (nicely), we can get the group rate, correct calculation errors or receive discounts, etc…. Kind of a “you have not because you ask not” concept. Also (the “worse” I refer to), Caspar was a timid soul; A man who was easily dominated or led by a proverbial nose ring. He was so easy to convince – The girl who chased him simply made her moon face at him as she chased him around for a few years until her father went after him. Of course Caspar wasn’t man enough to say no (plus it was flattering and he didn’t know that flattery is like perfume: nice to sniff, toxic to swallow). So he never got around to (and was too timid) pursuing and winning the heart of the one who secretly adored him but would never chase him. But then perhaps he wanted a dominant obnoxious woman, who knows.
Spring keeps peeking at me. The March that came in like a lamb, looks like (at least in my neighborhood) it will go out like a lamb as well. The snowstorm that was announced, was further south so we got a mere 2 inches of soggy snow that melted with the sun. The swans have paused their travel north to the Arctic Circle so that we can observe their graceful beauty up close in our own waterways. The swans, of course, are charmingly ignorant of how beautiful they are, which, I suppose makes us all the more grateful. The Buffleheads (small American sea duck) are also passing through, and their noise makes me smile every year. No Pelicans yet. Hilariously comical, we love to watch them but always hope they don’t stay in our ponds (they’d destroy them worse than a large population of geese). I find my energy returning with the length of days.