Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How are you doing?

Such a simple question. People ask all the time and truly mean it, but how often do you give a truthful response? A co-worker of mine was telling me about a movie he watched a few months ago called "Dakota Skye", which is about a girl who is born with the ability to detect lies. I have not seen the movie yet, but it sounds like a fascinating movie. The truth is, people lie all the time. And not always in a bad way. If you come home from a long, blah day and your spouse asks "how was your day?" you may not feel like unloading or talking about it, so you just say "fine". But if she/he could read your mind, they would see it was anything but fine. I planned on renting the movie at some point and still do.

Lately, this has really struck me quite a few times as I have faced this question awkwardly. A friend who I rarely see and really only know through another friend is pregnant and having a baby in November. She sent me a random text about a sale and then asked how we were doing. I said fine. But then she asked if we had any more ultrasounds coming up because she did not and was bummed because she really wants to see the baby again! I thought to myself, yeah, I know how you feel, but this time, I need more ultrasounds and it would be great if that was not the case! So, I told her, over text message, that yeah we had more ultrasounds coming, in fact we need them monthly and then went on to summarize our situation. Honestly, it was not that weird for me. I am not feeling bummed out about our situation because we have had so many positive things come out of this - support from family and friends, a new view of a lot of things, and a baby who is healthy despite her deformity. But, I felt bad after sending the texts. Who wants to be unloaded on like that? So the next day when a friend I have only seen a few times in the past few years asked if the baby was healthy, I just said "yes". It was a total lie, but I did not feel like talking about anything because it was gchat and I was just checking my email! Was it wrong to lie? I guess I would rather lie than be cryptic and say "no, but I cannot talk now because I have work to do".

Today, I was really struck by this by a comment I saw on facebook. A mutual friend made a comment on a post of another mutual friend asking how she was doing. The truth is she is probably having the worst month ever, having gotten horribly bad news on the same day as our sonogram and is facing (what feels like) a long awaited appointment at the end of this week. She is a private person and it is a private family matter, so she will probably either ignore the comment or lie and say fine. But, probably, when she logs in and reads that she will be struck hard by that question.

Such a simple question, and one I will continue to ask. But, still, one that holds a lot of weight and frequently generates an answer far from the truth.

Thanks for listening!

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