I’ve found that when people ask me how we are doing, I have this panicky moment when I don’t know how to answer.
I mean, they just want a quick, pleasant answer right? That’s what the question is about. It’s a social grace, not necessarily an invitation for a lengthy dissertation about how it’s really going.
Do I lie and say we’re fine? I don’t really want to turn a simple question into an unwelcome speech on the crazy shiz that’s actually going down around here.
Generally, I find myself tilting my head and doing kind of a half-cringe, half-smile while murmuring “yeeeaaahh.” It’s the stupidest thing.
I just don’t know what’s polite to say about us anymore.
I need to come up with some sort of stock response that isn’t technically a lie, but does better than smiling vapidly or launching a TED talk deconstructing my life.
Brevity is key. And ambiguity.
“We’re hanging in there.” (Boring)
“Just as jolly as we ever were!!!” (Lying)
“Let’s talk about you, not me.” (Distracting)
“We are on a slippery backward slope.” (Truth-telling)
“Oh, you know….*trails off and gazes into the distance*.” (Revealing)
Maybe I’ll just stick with a shrug and leave it at that.