Thursday, October 23, 2008

No Response

How are you today?

Everyday. Multiple times during the day. By people who know me and complete strangers I hear "How are you today?" Like you really care.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it's a rhetorical question. But why do we greet one another with a question? Why not a statement? Why not "Good to see you today?" Why not a simple "Hello?"

The question throws me. It never sounds rhetorical to me. It always sounds like a true inquiry. How do I respond? Does the person really want to know that, as usual, I awoke in a groggy state, dazed from pain and feeling inadequate to the day? Really? I think not.

What they want to hear is a lie. They want to hear "Fine, thanks, you?" I've tried substituting "zippy" for that "fine, thanks, you" but it seems to throw my greeting opponent. And, while gratifying, I don't think that's a good thing.

Perhaps the greeting should be a simple flashing of palms to indicate you are not armed. I mean, let's get back to the roots of the thing. Isn't that what greeting was originally about? To show the opponent you were friendly or, at least not armed to the teeth?

I propose the phrase "how are you today" be shelved and only pulled out for occasions where a genuine inquiry as to the state of another is indicated. The doctor's office, checking in on a sick relative, stuff like that. Let's replace it with the hearty wave or a simple flash of each palm.

There it is, my theory, my desire, and my post

1 comment:

Mike said...

Nice post, I agree with the sentiment, and here's some hearty waves: /// \\\ /// \\\