“So how are y.. NO SHUT UP!”

Well here’s another life threatening issue: I still cannot answer a How-are-you.

Who on earth started this tormentuous greeting anyway? You may think you’re being polite but you have no idea how much of my brain cells die the moment you decide it would be an appropriate greeting.

A HAY could probably be the single most polite greeting that stands between being interested in one’s well being – yet not so much the big stuff, just enough to get a conversation going – and a proper hello. But nonetheless this greeting jams my mind, and I’d just idle and look at the person while my brain finds an appropriate neural path with a story to tell.

For example, if you’re a not-so-social creature (by choice), and someone comes and asks you how you’re doing you’d go “Oh I’m doing fine!” and the conversation dies.

And if you’re a slightly social creature you’d return the greeting with another HAY (social protocol) and they’d probably say – I am fine too.

Then the conversation dies because both pointless questions have been exchanged and you find yourself in a familiar, awkward silence.

If you’re the more sociable creature you’re probably used to digging depths in conversation so a conversation could probably happen. I would probably pin the blame on ‘Why ask in the first place?’ but I won’t because I can’t think of a better alternative for the great HAY.

So how do you answer? Your immediate response would probably be, ‘Fat classmate, he’s lost some weight’ but you don’t say ‘Wow nice body, what the hell happened?’. That wouldn’t be so appropriate. So you play the HAY card but that fails because he says ‘I’m fine, having a hard time at work, same old.” At this point you could begin to try to extend the conversation in hope of finding out that stress has made him smaller but then you weigh the point and benefits of a conversation, and you find nothing.

And so the conversation runs dry as they often do, and you bid farewell and carry on on your way.

Most often when we meet people and have nothing to say, we reduce ourselves to a HAY which sometimes makes an unnecessary awkward situation (which I usually just avoid my smiling and nodding and carry on walking). This often happens when you meet an acquaintance that falls in neither good friend nor family category. It does sometimes occur towards a semi-close friend or family member as well.

A HAY today is no longer a polite and genuinely caring greeting, but a symbol of social awkwardness. I’ve had many encounters where friends “Hey how are you?” and walks off. I’m not quite sure if I’m supposed to email or text him my response, which would be an cruelly long email titled ‘Because you asked.’

HAY’s are no longer enough to be social, people. We know the more genuine ones because their body language speaks distinctly, or that they rephrase the HAY.

I won’t bother with a response knowing you don’t care because I’d have to spend some few thousand brain cells to package you an appropriate answer.

Can’t be bothered to read through whatever I’ve just typed. I find myself drained for no good reason.

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