A few weeks ago, I was one of the best communicators I knew. It wasn’t because I had finally realized how to have a fluid conversation that wasn’t in the written form quite yet, and my word it certainly wasn’t because I had mastered the wink by any means, but it was because I finally had some answers to the “what’s new with you?” question.
I’ve had problems with this question for quite some time. It reminds me of Mrs. Ash’s “journal time” in the fourth grade, where our prompt was to write a letter to our teacher telling her about our week, and being as creative as we’d like. My first prompt consisted of a story about me starring me and began with truth but somehow ended in my brutal death. Some kids got a whole page written back to them from Mrs. Ash. I got a giant red question mark. I learned at an early age that to respond to this “tell me about your week/life/what is new with you” confrontation, we must not lie (I’d never), we must not be too self-indulgent (Maggie who?), and we can get close, but we must not die at the end (dead giveaway). (There is also the off-chance that some people are just filling silence with stock questions, and teachers just want a quiet hour in the middle of the day, but the optimist in me refuses both.)
A couple of weeks ago, my current-events storm for this question was the most perfect:
-I had been robbed. (“Well our house was broken into and all my property and sense of security was stolen, but let’s not talk about me, I want to hear about you.”)
-I saw two moose on a hike. (Always a crowd pleaser.)
-I had some of the best homeless attention of my life. (“I didn’t know angels could walk.” Oh bearded man (or woman), you shouldn’t have.)
But lately, the most I have to come up with is that Jane made some great waffles yesterday morning and shared, and I’m getting my bottom wisdom teeth out next Thursday. But everyone always crams advice down my throat with this last one, and I’ve already been through the process once. I know how to cope. A season of Heroes and Vicodine.
So here’s to hoping something goes terribly wrong with my wisdom teeth operation (yes, operation) and I finally have something to say to people again that isn’t old news, me news, or false news because if I’m going to cut anything, it’s going to be the truth. And it’s going to be obvious. You’ve been warned.