Join me in considering episodes in our daily lives; I call it “automatic” speech; happening especially upon greeting people in person, on the phone, anywhere; questions and answers that universally are spoken in any language I dare say, and pop out instinctively.
“How are you?, How goes it? What’s New? How’ve you been? It’s been a long time, The weather is…” or often ending conversations with, “see ya,” say hi to so and so, let’s get together sometime” How often do you actually end up getting together sometime.—We all do it. How startling and even refreshing it is when someone responds otherwise to these “automatic” questions. Upon inquiring about their health, they may say I am doing great, I am wonderful or they may offer long answers to share health problems or concerns or “I’m not so good,” or someone is ill or comment on current politics or a recent event or offer, “Yes, last time I saw you was an art opening or concert or on the 5th Ave in New York City or a restaurant in Venice” and they embellish this retort with some details.
This is not new information just something to reflect upon here as it happens daily. Serious conversation can and often does follow, but small talk is comforting and gives the conversants time to evaluate the situation and person(s) you have met, following up with a more lengthy discussion or parting ways.
My daily life includes listening to many news stories, where experts in a field are invited to appear during a podcast or broadcast.
For years I have focused on their closing statement when offered a thank you for coming on the show. Again, I find the answers, that must be short and spur of the moment, also fall within my category of “automatic” speech as in; “thanks for having me, my pleasure or the pleasure is all mine, I enjoyed being here, glad to be here, I will come back anytime, it was fun, I always enjoy your show, I hope it helped,” to give a few examples. I believe that in this context it means they are truly honored or flattered, that their ego has been boosted and they feel good. I find myself even anticipating how certain personalities may respond and I cheer when they are original and fresh.
Just to let you know, there are times when the answer is just a quick “Thank you. Oh yes, thank you for reading this short post. I hope it gave you a bit of diversion from daily chores.