Hi, how are you?

Not too well, actually.  I’ve been fighting headaches all week.

That’s good.  Have a nice workout.  Let’s work those muscles!  No pain, no gain!

Hi there, how’s it goin’ today?

Lousy, and you?  I’ve really been struggling with my faith in the face of great difficulty.

Awesome!  See ya around.

Good afternoon, can I help you?  Need me to check the oil?

Well, really, I just need to sit and talk with someone.  I’ve been crying all morning because of a great loss in our family.

Great.  Well, just let me know if I can help.  . . . Hello, sir, can I help you?

Hi, how are you today?

Not well.  I’ve been crying all week, and I’m on the verge of tears right now because life is just so hard sometimes.

Super.  Let me ring this up for you, and oh . . . did you find everything you needed?


About apronheadlilly

wife and mother, musician, composer / poet, teacher, and observer of the world, flawed Christ-follower
This entry was posted in Christian, Faith, philosophy, Photography, Poetry, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Greetings!

  1. susansplace says:

    Well, as you know, I’m going through a bit of a loss here, so your post hit home. Lily, if in fact you are going through something, my prayers are with you today — and if you are speaking to the universe about our human-“kind”, well, I get it. I’ve been told to take the rabbit hole that I think I’m in, and fill it with light and love. I’m shoveling as we speak!

    • 🙂 Shovel on. Life is just hard sometimes. It has bothered me before the casual meaningless way we greet, but more so since I have been going through a tough time for 6 mos. now. It’s not that I can change customs. And folks don’t mean anything negative, but sometimes I feel this overwhelming desire to be more honest and just say, I am not fine, and I refuse to fake it! That probably would not be a good idea with most. Maybe we just need to cut the part that says “How are you?” unless we really do care about the answer.

      • susansplace says:

        You are right. People really don’t expect an honest answer when they ask that loaded question. Can you imagine if we all actually gave an honest answer every time? LOL! I’m so sorry you’re going through a difficult time. Keep taking pictures. Your talent shines through — and I’ve been told that all we need is time…Blah Blah Blah

  2. katehobbs says:

    If we ask the question, we should be prepared to listen to the answer.
    I also agree with you Lily. There needs to be a new reality. For too long, we have gone through life letting others believe that we are OK when we are breaking inside. Enough of this ****. Let’s be real, and be vulnerable with those that are near to us, whether family, friends or church. Let’s remove the masks that we live behind and let the real me/you be seen.
    Easier said than done, I know. And I am aware that people will not know how to respond, yet for many of us, healing and progress come when we ditch the falseness.
    Very thought provoking Lily. Thank you.

    • I think greeting superficially needs a new vernacular. How about, “Hello,” “Good morning,” “Good day”? That should fit the bill without the insincere “How are you?” Then we could save the question for when we really want to know. We also get rid of the poor grammar response of “good.” 🙂

  3. Great post! It really reminds us to stop our fast pace lifes and really listen to those around us. We could be missing something very important.

    Michelle Darnell
    Will you help us Save our History?

  4. tootlepedal says:

    If someone asks me casually how I am, I often ask them if it is just a polite enquiry or if they really want to know. If it’s a polite enquiry, I invariably respond, ‘Never better!’ Most people I know are too fly to ask me how I really am as they don’t have that much time. I am sorry that you are having a hard time. I really am.

    • It was a rough week for me, for sure. One time I was at a market called Trader Joes that we have here, and the checker did the typical. So I told him I was having a rough day, just getting over a migraine. I like to laugh, too, and his deer-caught-in-the-headlights kind of expression was worth the aggravation of the banal niceties we fall into. BTW, how are you today… really? 🙂 Hope your joints are trating you more kindly. I think the literal of the French response ca va kind of says it sometimes. It goes!

      • tootlepedal says:

        I’m fine physically if I don’t do anything but soggy mentally so I do a bit and then my joints hurt but I feel cheerier. Patience is the name of the game. I hope your migraine cleared up.

  5. pattisj says:

    Sometimes it would be nice to find compassion or empathy rather than an empty greeting. Are we too busy to take the time for each other? Certainly the cashier who has a backed up line should ask a different question! We know they probably aren’t interested in the truth.

  6. melodylowes says:

    Sometimes our pain spills through the cracks, and simple greetings become so fraught with real danger – the danger of our polite impersonal masks falling right off and revealing the rawness of us. It is so hard to ‘keep up appearances’ when your heart is truly breaking – and yet to some extent we need to put limits on our public grief! I know your frustration so well. The truth is hard for others to hear and respond to so often – and so on we go, isolated and clutching our safety masks. I pray that you would find the right balance between laying down the mask and restraint…

    • It is hard when life’s troubles come in a dog pile! But we have life, we have jobs, and we can’t just hide in the closet, but that’s often lately where I have needed to be. My hubby can compartmentalize pain and function; whe I have pain, physical or emotional, it takes over! Ah, life. Come sweet Jesus.

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