Today I went to the bank. I noticed one of the ladies who has an actual desk, and who I once talked to about refinancing has a placard with her name on it. Her official title, right there for all to see is Relationship Banker. I am beginning to think this word is truly a sign of the apocalypse. It is a great big gaint sucking sound of vagueness. I do not go to the bank for relationships, and if I actually have a real solid human being in this world who I could call my banker, then my specific, real, and vitally important relationship with that person can simply be described by the word banker. Perhaps, in some cases that person could be described as friend, or third cousin, but again these are specific terms. The word relationship brings nothing to the party, except to make a few of us extremely aware that there is a massive problem with that bank's management. Someone is thinking badly.
It turns out I have blogged about the word relationship many times, often in reference to the much vaunted personal relationship with Jesus, but I don't see where I put my theory about how it came about. I think the word relationship became ever more popular as divorce and deviant lifestyles did. If you marry and divorce a few people, pretty soon wife/husband doesn't really work anymore. You've got whoever is current, and whoever else. So, instead of having a growing collection of solid, understandable, specific relationships- ones that you can use all the old specific words for- you have a growing collection of ambiguous, general, 'it's complicated' sort of relationships, ones that you can't even use the words friend or acquaintance with. So you need the vagueness of the word relationship to describe the horror that is your life.