“How are you? How are ya doing? What’s up?” I simultaneously hate and desperately need these questions. They leave all the work to the answerer. You have to decide how much space to take, how deep to delve into their fantasies, how much the asker truly cares. Answers can range from “fine” to “I’m on the verge of a breakdown” to “The day I turned 5... <insert anecdote> That’s how I knew I would find myself one day eating the best pastrami sandwich of my life from the deli down the street.” At the same time, they’re the most legible way to be curious about someone’s life and give them the permission to take space. They can be unassuming and generous gifts.
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