How Are You?
I don't know any other three words that can be put together that makes me flinch and recoil in disgust as much as these three, whether the person who says it is being sincere, nice, or just a pain in the ass.
You know I like to try to keep things funny. That's why I try (even if there's a lot of failing) to put humor into the horror movie reviews I do. Once upon a time, way, way back when I was a functioning human being, I actually experienced performing as a stand up comic - a couple of times. No, I didn't perform in clubs or travel or anything - this happened at gatherings of people who knew me. It was terrifying and exhilarating.
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My point is, I appreciate humor - even if horror movies is my chosen genre. I still have it despite losing a lot of other abilities due to my declining health. And that brings me, finally, to my subject. People who you may see once a day, once a week, a month, or maybe a couple of times a year who always start their conversation the same:
Hi, how are you?
Do they really want to know? You know they don't. It is just a thing to fling at someone while you're passing them by. If you try to answer, you can practically feel their consciousness leave their body and travel on, waiting for you to shut up. So what should one do?
There's a comedian I really admire - his name is Bill Engvall. If you're not familiar with him, he's a very nice guy, his humor runs to everyday situations and his family. One thing he is famous for is a bit where people will say the dumbest things to which he says, "Here's your sign." He's not being mean, it's a funny thing - he's even targeted himself. Here's an example:
Watching him is a kick - and he's clean and fun. But thinking about having a 'sign' for these types of situations made me think - what about a sign for those dealing with endless insincere 'How are you?' questions every time we try to get by? I have honestly considered ordering business cards with a pre-printed answer - not mean, but something pointed but at the same time funny.
But sometimes you feel one way, sometimes another, sometimes it's everything so... that's a lot of cards. So I thought another option might be a piece of paper with all situations, feelings, symptions, etc. listed on it, and one can just check a box by which is current for that day. Or several boxes. Or all of 'em. But make it funny.
Most people are sincere when they ask how you are - others do it to be polite. But I can guarantee that 95% or even more of those people don't really expect you to tell them. The answer almost always is:
"I'm okay, how are you?"
And you separate and don't speak any more after that.
So how does one who suffers multiple problems deal with insincere questions and still maintain their humor? Make up some kind of statement then say 'Here's your sign'? Or 'here's your card', 'here's your checklist'? I dunno if the point would be made. Again, even if I tried to use humor, you know there are gonna be those that get offended, even if they really didn't want to know how you were.
I'm gonna have to think about this one.