Saturday, November 26, 2011

How Are You?

"How are you?"

"Couldn't be better."

"I don't hear that very often", the man at Home Depot said.

"You're right!" I replied.

This prompted a conversation with a very nice man who was having a bad day.

It was 115 degrees in Surprise and he was outside stacking heavy ceramic pots.

I know how this feels having worked at Fred Meyer.

We probably talked for 15 minutes. I just stood on admiring him for his hard work.

Do you think he felt better about his day after that?
JD, Surprise, AZ

Monday, November 21, 2011

Query For HAY Responses

Hi Everyone,
I've been inspired to start working on a writing project that's been in the back of my mind for some time.
Would you please share with me what some of your favorite responses are to that common greeting in the US, "How are you?" Most of us simply say, "Fine," knowing the person asking doesn't really want to's just a greeting.
When I say favorite responses, I mean not only what you actually say, but what you wish you could say, in honesty, or might like to hear from the person asking "How are you?"
Your responses can be funny, irreverant, true, filled with cuss words, kind, deep, dark...whatever pops into your mind!
I'm really looking forward to your input, friends!
Blessings & Best Wishes, Laura
Laura Handke
Author of Six Degrees to Your Dreams, Editor's Choice Award recipient, iUniverse
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Transformational Voice Training Institute Teacher,
Certified Oneness Deeksha Giver
Reiki Practitioner, Level II
One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach--waiting for a gift from the sea. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Vision without action is a daydream; action without vision in a nightmare. - Japanese Proverb

Friday, November 11, 2011

HOW AM I DOING? The HAY question. (Hello, REALLY, like you want to know?!)

I met a man from the Netherlands a few years ago. He’s the first Danish man I had met and he was kind enough to answer all my blazing questions about life in Denmark and what the transition to living in the States was like.

Hindrik said the single most difficult part of adjusting to life in the United States was how everybody asks, “How are you?” in way of a greeting. He said in Europe, if you ask that question, it’s because you really want to know…and you’d better be prepared for a long answer.

I so glommed onto that, and it got me doing a little experimenting, and internal questioning. Why are you asking how I am if you don’t even know me? The check-out person in the grocery store. A teacher I’ve known for years but clearly is asking as she’s moving to the next class and doesn’t want to hear an answer other than “fine.”

The most honest response I’ve gotten in quite a while was today, when I walked into a lovely gift and framing shop close by my home I’ve been meaning to check out for some time. This afternoon, I finally did.

When the proprietor asked, “How are you?” I answered, “Excellent,” which was true. I’d been having an excellent day and was in an excellent mood. I countered, “And you?” She said, “Not quite excellent, but getting closer.”

Yeay! I got an honest answer!! As I went through the shop, I learned they had just expanded and were in the process of re-organizing everything in the store and she likened the place to a construction site. Hence…getting closer to excellent.

For a while after this question started to annoy me, maybe two or three months, I tried to boycott the HOW ARE YOU (HAY) question.

I would answer, “Gosh, isn’t it wonderful the sun came out today after all that rain? What are you up to this afternoon?”

“I’m thinking that is a gorgeous dress you’re wearing…where did you get it, and was it on sale?”

Sometimes I got the sense people felt dismissed. Sometimes they would ask again, “But, how are you?”

As soon as I said, “Fine,” they seemed to feel more comfortable.

So, this question isn’t necessarily about the recipient of the question, it’s about the person who asks the HAY question wanting to feel more comfortable.