Don’t you just hate it that when you meet someone on the street, or in the mall, or at the book store, or some coffee shop, someone whom you’ve not met in quite a while, sometimes for a couple of years, and you both will automatically flashed on a fake smile and utter –
“HEY! How are you? How’s everything?”
Yes yes yes…. I know.. it’s just manners and we all try to do it (I consciously try not to actually).
But seriously… think about it… what do they expect us to say? Are we suppose to tell the truth and pour our hearts out?
Can we really say things like “ Oh I’ve had a horrible weak, my dad’s fighting cancer and he is hanging on to dear life”
Or can I blurt out “Life kinda suck a lot right now, my bf’s demented pesky bitch of an ex gf kept finding excuses to contact him”
Or can someone ever say “Oh I’m so glad you asked, I’m about to hire a hitman to murder someone, what do you think about it?”
Ok.. Im exaggerating, but really, can you really even say “I’m not fine”
Don’t you feel compelled to reply “Fine, thank you… or something along those lines?”
So seriously.. think about it. When you actually asks someone you’ve not met for a long long time – “How are you doing?” What were you expecting from her?
You are standing there, at that very sidewalk, probably with groceries on your hands, with things on your mind, were you sincerely hoping to hear how that person have been living live all these years?
<insert answer here>
I thought so…
Most of us, would say No.
We were just being polite, and we all expect the same polite answer : “I’m great/fine/good/alright, life’s good/like that lo/so so/the usual/ – what about yourself?”
These days, I consciously try to avoid the ‘How are you? How’s everything” question when I bummed into someone I’ve not seen in a long time.
I’ll instead try to dig out some memory of that person, and find something personal to ask. How’s the ex company you were with, how’s the kids (name the kids), how’s this, how’s that, never a generic – How are you?
If there’s really nothing in your memory bank about this person (which explains a lot why you’ve not been wanting to keep in touch with each other), I’ll just say a simple “Was great seeing you again, you look amazing (lie lie lie if you need to). I got to go, but I’ll Facebook you” (if that person replies – I’m not on FB, reply
ktxbye here’s my number, let’s keep in touch next time – Whatsapp maybe)
I know.. bumming into an old acquaintance can be a bitter sweet experience.
That’s why I absolutely love it that I’m part Hokkien, and we can greet people SINCERELY by asking “Chia pa beh?” (Have you taken your meal?)