Let me start by saying that I am mostly a dutiful “How are you-er,” especially when it’s an opening to more meaningful conversation, or if I’m in a situation, like work, that simply requires it. I am generally polite and kind and I do the thing: “I’m good, I’m good. How are you?” It’s a part of life. No one really wants to be asking the question or answering it, but we do it out of habit, for lack of a better greeting, etc.

But ya know when the way someone says or asks something just rubs you the wrong way and makes you want to punch them in the face? Yeah that.

I hadn’t seen this person in a long time — a friend’s younger sister. She came into the store I was working at. Now let’s just say that I am not exactly winning in my life story – picture Annie from the movie Bridesmaids, working at the jewelry store, and you have a good idea of where I am at. I think it’s safe to say this person is aware of this – let’s call her a smug married (who just had a baby), in Bridget Jones’ language (wow, I haven’t thought of that one in a long time – dating myself). So when she asked me, in a snide sort of way, how I was for the second time, even though I had dutifully answered at the start of our ‘small talk,’ I heard my voice rise a few octaves. “Good!” Then I shot back, “How are you?” in my too high voice, even though I had already asked her on our first go around. It felt like the conversation came to a screeching halt after that.

It was like a battle of the “How are you’s?” (I’m conjuring up Seinfeld here).