Sunday, November 26, 2006

"How Are You"

I remember writing something about people always asking about the well-being of others and not sticking around to hear the response. That's old news.

But I think people have sunk to a new low.

I've heard answering machine messages that said, "Hi, ___, it's ___ how are you...I wanted to know..." and the first time I heard it, I thought the person made a mistake. Ay, some of you will argue, "What if the person is really wondering?" Most of the time, they are calling to ask a favor and couldn't care less. If they do care, they'd ask like this: "Hi _____, it's ________, I was just wondering how you're doing, and if you'd like to...." If you want something from me, tell me. I know you don't care how I am, unless you wait for a response. Many people ask, and I say, "Hi," instead of, "good, bad, busy, bored..." and they say, "Greeeaat...." and continue.

I'm sorry, but asking how one is on a freakin answering machine further proves my point that nobody really gives a crap. I've gotten phone calls, "Hi, how are you, I wanted to tell you..."

This is not like meeting me on Avenue J and running past me saying, "How are you?" where I can technincally chase you down, or give you an obnoxious answer, like, "I'm ready to kill myself, and you?" and hear them answer, "OH, great. So glad to hear." No. It's not like that.

So these yutz-faces defend this practice, and say it's an expression. Well, it doesn't have to be. When I see someone I know, I say, "hi," or, "Hey," and "Have a good one." Because most of the time, call me selfish, I don't think, "Hey, gee, I wonder how this person is," and it all happens so fast, that it ends up a "hi" and "bye," which is fine by me.

Today, I saw a girl I knew from 9th grade who I was friendly with, but don't see too often. I wanted to know how she is. And I wanted to tell her how I knew her husband and sister-in-law but didn't realize until I saw her bencher in someone else's house and all. So anyway, I wanted to know how she is. So I asked. And I listened. Was that too hard?

22 Comments:

At 11/26/2006 4:25 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Its the exposure to American culture seeping in. "How are you..." that is so phony.

I heard two weeks ago, by Chovos Leevovos shiur, that when Reb Moshe Zt"l, was speaking to someone and someone else needed to tell him sthing, he would grab the first persons hand, to let him know he still is aware of him.

One time he was talking to a fourteen yr old bochur, and Reb Ahron Kotler Zt"l, walked into the office . The bochur walked out and Reb Moshe called him back. When the bochur said he would wait outside in deference to Reb Ahron, Reb Moshe told him to speak to him after daverning.

In the mean time, someone came about ten minutes later to take Reb Moshe home as he wasnt feeling well.

About an hour later the bochur's mother received a phonecall, that the Rosh Yeshiva apologizes and would like the bochur to come to his house.

 
At 11/26/2006 7:39 PM, Blogger Independant Frum Thinker said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/26/2006 7:40 PM, Blogger Independant Frum Thinker said...

In such a fast-paced society, human feelings seem to be disregarded more and more. A true good person must make a conscious effort not to allow him/herself to fall prey to this ugly phenomenon.

Semgirl, nice comment.

 
At 11/27/2006 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you so hypercritical of society? So, what, people say "how are you" and don't mean it. Why does that bother you so much?

 
At 11/28/2006 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some reason, people think that a simple HI is not enough. That's what I give. a HI with a semi-headnod. If they think I'm rude, too bad.

 
At 11/28/2006 10:20 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

At my office, I sit in a corner chair, and I get about twenty "walk-bys" a day. "How are yoU???" they ask as they run by...

 
At 11/28/2006 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why don't you answer them? a simplw "well, my head fell off today but i sewed it back on with dental floss" is always fun.

 
At 11/28/2006 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, how are you?

 
At 11/28/2006 6:46 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

anon #2--you're not rude. You're sensible. It's more rude to ask a meaningless question that has become dsiregarded and worthless.

 
At 11/28/2006 11:31 PM, Blogger Lost said...

Some pp care! And really listen!

and if they don't, it's just a standard social requirement that can be recognized as such straight off the bat.

Michelle, How the heck are ya?

 
At 11/29/2006 12:02 PM, Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

So tell me..How are you?.....Oops gotta run. Be good.

:-)

 
At 12/02/2006 7:40 PM, Anonymous megapixel said...

i once asked a guy how are you? he answered "well my left ear is a little clogged" I almost died laughing. like do i really want to know him that well?
so from now on, when some one asks me how i am and i know they dont really care, i say "well my left ear is a little clogged". its as good an answer as any other!

 
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