Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm Fine. Is That What You Want Me To Say?

When someone asks you "How are you?" in some form or another. They want you to say something along the lines of "I'm good" or I'm fine". But what happens when you don't say that and you say something else.

It kinda cracks me up (& actually makes me feel a little bit better inside) to be honest and tell them everything is not fine and to watch their reaction. All of a sudden this quick greeting or small talk has been changed into this uncomfortable conversation that must occur (otherwise they would be thought to be insensitive.)

Sometimes I indulge people (or myself because I don't want to talk about it) and say everything is fine or good. I did that today when we met our playgroup at the park. They asked how things were and I smiled and said "good", even though they know we are soon to be homeless and be living out of suitcases. They know things aren't "good" and one will be brave and ask if our house sold yet and I will say "No" and try not to think about it or cry. That's why I indulge myself in saying everything is good, because I don't want to think about it or cry again. Thankfully, to stop further inquiry, someone else stepped in and said "I am sure she will tell us when it sells." And you better believe that I will!

But then we had this conference call with our Realtors and one of them asked me how I was doing. I didn't feel like indulging him, as I feel they have repeatedly let us down over & over again. So, I told him I was stressed. SILENCE. I wish I had the luxury of actually seeing their faces, but the silence told me it wasn't what he expected to hear. But I hoped it added a layer of guilt.

The conference call overall was good and Andy & I were way prepared. He made up an agenda outline and we followed that straight through. They probably thought we would talk for 10 minutes, but we had 30 minutes worth of talking to do and things to discuss. I took notes and was a "commitment" Nazi. I kept asking if they would commit to doing different things and got time frame or dates for commitment. If I didn't we would never get anywhere because it seems that our realtors do nothing but talk in circles and riddles without ever committing to anything. And that doesn't fly with me. So, I typed up all the notes and a plan of action sent everyone copies.

And next time someone asks, "How are you doing?" just test it out and see what happens.

Does it make me a little sick that when I am honest and tell them I am stressed or sad or upset or whatever and I like seeing them squirm a little bit because it wasn't what they expected/wanted to hear? It probably does. And I'm ok with that.

1 comment:

Kendra said...

I just caught up with your blog for the first time in several weeks. Although not for the same reason, I have been there with this level of stress, and I know all about the sleepless nights, the not being able to eat a bite, and any of the many other manifestations of stress.

I know you are in a hard position. I wish I were closer to give you a real hug, take you out for dinner and share a bottle of wine, and tell you that next year this time things will be so much better.

I'm not there.

But I hope you know I love you and I think about you literally every day.