When he was about twelve, my son Travis told me picking a Texas woman out of a crowd was easy. After guessing what I thought were obvious reasons; she talks with a drawl, she drives an oversized SUV, and she has big hair, he grinned, shaking his head, because he knew he had me stumped. “Then what?”, I said.
“I know because when asked how she’s doing, every Texas woman says, ‘Great! Everything’s just great!’ You know her life can’t be great all the time, but she always says she’s great,” he answered.
Interesting observation. It’s probably because most Texas and southern women tend to be so proper. Truthfully, to a certain degree, all of us are programmed that way. My mother would say, ”No one truly wants to listen to all of your stuff when they ask how you’re doing, they’re just being polite”. Mom’s also the one who taught me to say, “Bless her heart” to keep from saying something ugly about someone.
Wouldn’t it be fun, just once, to say what you really want to say, but don’t dare in polite circles? “How are you doing? Haven’t seen you in so long! What’s going on?”, some unsuspecting person might ask.
“I know how I’m supposed to answer by all Texas, southern and/or Christian standards, but if you really want to know, it honestly seems like I’m living in a three ring circus. Sometimes I feel like I’m riding an elephant. Often I feel like clown. Then some days I feel like I’m being shot out of a cannon. I hop from ring to ring, but lately it’s more of the cannon shooting thing I’m experiencing. Other than that, I’m doing great!”, you might answer with a smile. “How are you?”
“Great! Great! Good to see you,” she would politely reply, most likely murmuring “Bless her heart” as she walks away.
It would be so freeing, but probably not advisable. More than just being polite, the fear of rumors starting probably keeps us smiling and saying, ”I’m great!”