June 12, 2010

Exchanging Pleasantries

Consider this to be a cautionary tale or whatever the hell you want to call it. As the 17 longtime readers know I have a home office that I work out of. Some of you may recall that my children finished school yesterday and began their summer break.

And so it was that I found myself sharing the house/office with lots of little people who had given up their work responsibilities and not a single care about my own. Granted at the same age I wouldn't have spent a moment wondering or worrying about whether my father was working so I can't fault my own offspring for their behavior.

Anyhoo, I made a point of scheduling a mid day haircut. As my locks had grown long and fuzzy it seemed to be an appropriate time to have them shorn as well as a good opportunity to catch my breath and clear my head. However I was inundated with work and overwhelmed by a giant caseload of crap so the escape didn't feel like time away. I spent most of the time at the barbershop worrying about how I was going to get it all done.

So you can imagine that upon my return to my domicile I wasn't in the mood to engage in small talk, play games or deal with any shenanigans. My kids recognized this and made a point of providing me with a quick hug and an abbreviated pledge of allegiance. It is only right, I am Lord of the Manor and Master of My Domain, but I digress.

In addition to my own children the house contained some friends of theirs and another parent who upon seeing me learned that I don't like exchanging silly pleasantries. She asked me how I was doing and I said that I have been better. The look of shock on her face spoke volumes. Had I not been in haste I would have added that I don't like to be asked how I am doing unless one is truly interested in hearing my response.

Those who know me well are aware of this and have seen me offer some shocking responses to those who use these silly remarks frivolously. Comments like, "I hope you are doing well" are often met with "not really, that fungus has returned and it is highly contagious." Or if I am feeling saucy I might mention that my probation officer is not going to be happy when he hears about my day.

One day I think that I shall have to record these exchanges on tape as the facial expressions are priceless.

6 comments:

Keith Wilcox said...

sometimes people don't want the truth, they just want meaningless pleasantries. I don't know why, because I'm a little like you. But, I find it's harder to buck the trend than it is just to say "fine" all the time, regardless of the truth. people smile and leave you alone that way :-)

Minnesota Mamaleh said...

oh, jack. i'm imagining the looks on people's faces when they hear your responses! priceless, i'm assuming?! i actually think you're modeling being genuine for your children, which i admire.

in other news, i especially like some of your vocab choices in this one: anyhoo, being one. saucy, being another. yep. i like 'em a lot! :)

Amber said...

I am too honest to give a false answer as well. I would hope that other people would recognize that when I ask how they are doing I DO want to know how they are, you know?

Ha! I hope the summer doesn't get too out of hand for you. : )

The JackB said...

It just seems pointless to me to engage in it without real desire. The summer should be good.

The JackB said...

Some of them are moderately surprised, but anyone who interacts consistently is familiar with my saucy moments. ;)

The JackB said...

Sometimes I think just like that, better to just go along and get along so to speak. But I interact with some of these people far too often. Don't ask unless you want to know.