“Good. How are you?”“Good.”
Does this sound familiar to you? Is this something you hear almost every day with slight variation? Whether you have a job that forces you to ask the question or you go into a shop and are asked this question – even online - either way you hear this little exchange A LOT.
How many people are actually “good” when they respond this way? I know I’m usually not but if I spent the time explaining the different components of my emotional and physical state in that moment I would probably get stared at – pity stared.When I was studying in England I had to get use to the shopkeepers asking “you alright?” when you entered a store. At the beginning I would simply reply “yes” or “yes, I’m fine” and then on came the stares. Apparently, in Britain, you don’t need to reply to that. It isn’t so much a question but rather a statement acknowledging your presence. It worked wonders when I realised a slight smile or nod would satisfy them and I tried to bring this knowledge back to my home land.
It didn’t work.Most of the time people thought I was either mute, incapable of speaking English or just a total non-communicative cow.
It is more than likely this response is just a failsafe question and answer so we can continue with what actually needs to get done. I mean I’m sure that neither one us really cares how the other is feeling. We just need a short, polite yet pointless opener to appropriately get what we want from one another without arousing suspicion of others – albeit our bosses or other judgemental onlookers.As a kid I would always get asked “how was school?” and I would, without fail, respond with “good”. Not that I didn’t have a good day – I’m sure if it was lousy and filled with hate due to some other kid laughing at my kneecaps then I would want to share but if it had been an average day where not much happened I would just say the word that frees us from further explanation and boring small talk.
Actually this word is kind of freeing. I don’t have to reveal myself to strangers on a regular basis. They might take the hint if I say I’m good and have big puffy, red eyes from crying or blood shooting from my temple and not ask any more questions. In fact, I feel positive about the mundane and mediocre nature of the word “good”. And right now, after typing this blog, I feel good.