It took me far too long to realise that there was only one answer to this question that people wanted to hear. I have worked long and hard to be able to heave “Good” into my mouth. Somewhere along the line I forgot how difficult that was, receiving that bare-faced reminder that, while people were asking, they didn’t actually want to know, or, if they did, they didn’t want to know now.
So this is me reiterating to myself how devastating this question is for some people, and was for me, not an argument for not using it at all. It’s a reminder that, if I am going to ask it, I have to be ready for the person in front of me to crumple in on themselves when they realise they are not okay. I have to be prepared to realise that I’m not okay.
I wish that the social niceties, the lubricant of conversation openings, were as simple as we will them to be.