How are you? You’re fine, thanks

I don’t understand well wishes.

“I wish you good luck.”

“I wish you a speedy recovery.”

“I wish you a happy new year.”

“Happy Birthday!”

“Bon Voyage!”

How does saying things like that make any difference to anyone’s life?

Is it that if I don’t wish you bon voyage, you’re going to have a totally miserable trip?

Is it that if more people wished you good luck, you’d have more good luck?

I feel fearful whenever I wish someone something because I would feel personally responsible if that something didn’t happen. It’s like my wish wasn’t good enough to come true.

I also feel silly because it’s foolish and even arrogant to think that when you say “I wish you all the best” to someone, that person will really get all the best.

Now, I think the general idea is that when you wish someone a good whatever, it’s like saying, “I care enough about you to want you to be well and happy, so if wishes do come true, I’d wish you a good whatever you want, to show that I care.”

But it’d be silly to say that whole chunk every time, so, naturally, people shorten it. But the trouble is that short phrases become cliches, and cliches get said without much thought to the intention behind the phrase.

It’s like “how are you”, which has got to be the most overused redundant phrase in the world.

Most people who use that phrase don’t really care how the person they’re asking after is. Some do, sure, but most don’t, especially when it’s directed at a stranger or acquaintance.

I know that if I started to tell some stranger about how I really felt, they’d stare at me like I was crazy. No matter they started it with the “how are you”.

“I feel like shit, man. My dog ate my passport (true story but not mine) and my washing machine went kaput. I broke two nails trying to wash my clothes manually, so now I’m off to the nail salon to get some nail extensions, which means that this month’s budget is going to hell and I won’t be getting that pair of shoes I’ve been eyeing all month, and also, my shitty back started acting up, so now I can’t go to the gym like I wanted to, bleh, which means I’m going to be fat for this Friday’s company function.”

Honestly. When you ask someone “how are you”, do you really want to hear all that?


Because if you did hear it, you’d have to say, “Aww, poor thing. I wish you good luck and hope that everything will be better soon.”

Well, it won’t, because you’re not a miracle worker.

The truth is, people hardly answer truthfully when they’re asked how they are. Children are given 10-year-series model answers to the question of: “How are you?”

They’re taught to say, “I’m fine, thank you,” and they have it memorised so well, they can’t say anything else.

It doesn’t matter if you’re really fine or not. You have to say “I’m fine, thank you” because it was drilled into you as a kid and it’s rude to say otherwise.

When you learn a foreign language for fun, they always teach you how to say “how are you” and answer “fine, thank you”. So you’re always fine, thank you, because you don’t know how to say anything else.

So we now have a world full of people greeting and wishing nice without really meaning it most of the time.

Perhaps it makes the world a better place when people keep their troubles at home. You go out and everything is peachy keen because people will ask you how are you and you’ll answer fine thank you and maybe you’ll start believing yourself after a while.

But it is totally senseless. I am annoyed at how senseless it is.

Every time you ask someone how he or she is, it’s the same damn answer.

Stop asking. You already know the answer. And stop saying happy new year because it doesn’t do a thing.

Why must we go through this charade every day of our life?

Unfortunately, that’s life, as they always like to say, and I’m kinda stuck here indefinitely, so I have to make like a normal human being, strange as it is.

So, here’s my frivolous wish for today.

I wish I didn’t have to sit through a five-hour drive every time I want to eat this: