How are you?
A rather mundane question but today I’m irritated by its implications for a few reasons:
To begin why do we feel drawn to say this phrase to perfect strangers? It can’t be that we actually know them well enough to care how they are doing? So why do we ask? Do we expect an honest answer when we take the time to ask? Or is it simply a universally recognized silence-filler that helps deflate awkward situations?
Maybe it’s just me… Maybe I now look like someone who needs to be asked this question…It’s only 9:30 and so far I’ve been asked this from the guy in line at the post office, from the guy who delivers my company’s water and from the steel delivery driver who I let in this morning. What’s wrong with just saying “good morning” and leaving it at that?
The phrase is so common it is also being used by those who know how I’m doing. This one completely baffles me; I guess maybe even I would continue to ask this question to myself if the situation was reversed. But knowing what I know now, maybe I wouldn’t.
Honestly the problem becomes that I can’t muster up enough fake happiness to make my “fine” answer believable, so instead the awkward conversations are dragging on me.
So why do we all ask?
*** Disclaimer: I really am fine – extremely sad but fine – that is the honestly truth. I understand that those who know me in real life – haven’t seen me since this occurred but I’m fine. Let’s just skip over the fines next time we talk and move onto other things. Maybe it’s because I still don’t want to talk about it or maybe it’s because fine is just a lacking definition.
Things are challenging and will continue to be, as I’m reminded of what was lost. For example, this week we received the few premature purchases we made during the couple of days of bliss. Sad to be reminded of what we now don’t need but the items will go into storage and at some point they will be needed. And it will be fine.