How many times have you heard or conducted a conversation like the following? Person one: Hey! How ya doin’?” Person two: “Ok! Yourself?” Of all the meaningless wastes of breath! Yet, it seems inescapable…the insipid “How ya doin'” greeting. So bored with this sort of exchange, I’ve endeavored to give it some meaning – or at least a unique quality. For a while I opted for “Shitty. But if I complained who’d want to listen?”
But now I have a new one. Ask me how I’m doin’, and I answer enthusiastically “They ain’t locked me up yet.” This brings varied answers. One volunteer recently responded “Who they gonna get first? Me or you!” My money would be on me. I didn’t see any crip or blood tattoos on him. Our favorite guest at the Meatloaf Kitchen (who knows my situation) has a different take. “You’re gonna be fine! God’s got his arms wrapped around you.” Somehow, I don’t take a lot of comfort in his assurances.
Of course, when I say “They ain’t locked me up yet,” that statement isn’t entirely true as “they” have locked me up already. But just for a week. The true reckoning lies in the future.
To the point! The next time someone asks “How ya doin”?” Try to respond to the question with something short and meaningful. “Pretty good. I just got laid last night.” Or “Shitty. The doctor says I have herpes.” Or “Awesome! My kid just made the honor roll.” You get the idea. Get up in the morning and decide how to let the world know how you’re actually doing before saying “Fine, and you?” For why answer the question if you really have no answer. That doesn’t make any sense. It’s just a waste of time and breath.