Are Social Greetings Pointless?

Have you ever run across a person who seems to perpetuate a pun or phrase to the point of assault? I thought it was sort of funny in middle school the first time I asked somebody “what’s up?” to have them point up and say “The sky!” It was amusing then. By now, in my mid-thirties, I’m much less amused by it, especially when the same people seem to think it is still funny. In the effort to be socially polite, I still try my best to make the person who still does this think that he or she is so witty and is the first person on earth to have thought of such a response to a common social greeting. In reality, I fantasize about saying “OK, let my rephrase that: what particular events are occurring in your life right now that you would like to discuss with me in chit chat as we pass each other in the hall/on the street/online? Obviously, your response is supposed to be ‘not much/going great/all right’ or something along the lines of ‘I really don’t have anything in my life uncomplicated enough to share with you at the moment, so I’ll just pretend that my life is going great and sum it up in two words or less!’ ”

Sometimes I wonder why we even bother with greeting in passing. Even when my entire life seems to be melting down like Chernobyl, I know better than to share it with the stranger or casual acquaintance who passes me in the hall or walks by my cubicle to ask “What’s up?" or  "How’s it going?"

Yes, I often get like this at times when sleep becomes a luxury. It’s been several nights since one or both of the kids haven’t been up part of the night. Oh, wait, that should have been "I’m doing fine."


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