Skip to main content

When Someone Asks. . .


Hopefully, these two gentlemen are not talking at great length about their ongoing aches, pains, and respective tales of woe.

Among the many ideas imparted to yours truly by my late maternal grandmother and late mother are two related points.  

First, whenever someone asks how you are, simply reply, "Very well, thank you."  You could, if you feel up to it, also ask "And you?"  My grandmother always instructed, however, that other people do not really want to know how you are.  They are simply being courteous in most cases, so give them a courteous (and concise) reply.  

My own addition to this piece of advice?  Save the detailed, angst ridden answers for your analyst or medical doctor.  Behind closed doors.  It's far better to leave certain things to the imagination.

Second, my late mother always advised to spare everyone the excruciating details of your personal aches and pains in whatever form those might take.  As she used to say, the world is a highly interesting place.  Lengthy discussion of one's great aunt's neighbor's mother's cousin with an ingrown toenail, who lives down the street and around the corner, is excruciatingly dull as well as crass.  It's far better, ol' Mom advised, simply not to join in such topics of conversation and do one's utmost to change the subject.  And, she added, you certainly do not share your own aches, pains, or latest tale of woe.

I suppose, in our current era of general over familiarity, obsession with sharing in the name of personal authenticity (Spare me!), and tendency to blurt out even the most personal details via social media that this point is lost on a lot of people.  But there we are.

 -- Heinz-Ulrich


Popular Posts

The Pleasaures of a Well-trained Dog. . .

  A few final photographs from my visit to my sister in Washington, D.C. last week.  These include  one of 'Mr. Beau,' my sister's meticulously trained and truly wonderful Doberman, another of my sister, second cousin, step-father, and yours truly on the steps of the church outside Lexington, North Carolina just after our late mother's interment service, two of me solo at the National Cathedral, and a final one of my sister and me hamming it up during a long evening walk the day before I returned to Michigan. My sister routinely walks to the cathedral, about three blocks from her place, to enjoy the grounds and gardens.  The Bishop's Garden, in particular, is a place she likes to sit for quiet contemplation and internal dialogues with our late maternal grandparents and mother, very much in keeping with the Episcopal side of things.  Our grandfather, who was raised Methodist, became an Episcopalian when he married our grandmother.   Before you ask, I am not sure tha

It's All about That Bass: Goodnight Tonight - Paul McCartney & Wings - 1979

Almost Mid-June Sunday Style. . .

  A fter two months, Blogger has decided to allow me in the door once again, so I can add a long overdue post documenting my take on classic male style.  Since we are almost in the throes of summer, let's go with a warm weather theme this morning. Now, the items above will not be to everyone's taste:  Deck shoes without socks, shorts, pleats, skinny pale legs, etc.  All invite tisk-tisking and debate in certain online fora, but that's ok.   I wouldn't wear attire this to campus Monday through Friday, or to church.  But for relaxed, comfortable warm weather-wear around the house during the weekends, with maybe a quick trip down the road for a gallon of milk at the super market, this will do nicely, thank you very much.   It's certainly preferable to the wrinkled, torn, stained sloppy alternative we see everywhere in 2022.  Neither is it at all far removed from how the various men and boys across three generations of my extended family presented themselves during even