Today was a good day. I celebrated one year with my wonderful man. We drove home from our weekend away in Blairgowrie back to our beautiful unit in Brunswick. Shaun had a lovely play in the park. The sun was shining, and I made pasta for dinner.
But then it happened. Somebody asked me politely how I was.
'How are you?' is the most complicated sentence in the English language. The sentence itself, seems harmless, but if you misjudge the context you can cause much harm.
Example one: Walking the dog in the morning. Nod a polite 'How are you?' to the man with the staffy you pass at 6:20am every weekday morning. He answers, not with the expected 'How are you?' nod back, but rather answers the question and you have to stand awkwardly and listen to the reply.
Example two: (True story) Sales assistant asks customer: 'How are you?' Customer replies with 'Actually I have breast cancer.'
Example three: Friend asks friend 'How are you?'
This is where it gets tricky. Sometimes you know that friend has had an awful day. Sometimes you know they've had the worst 6 months of their life. You are feeling excellent. So you answer - fine.
Sometimes you've had a bad day. You stubbed your toe, your train was late, your boss was grumpy. But your friends mother just died. So you answer - fine.
I first realised two months ago I was happy. Actually - I didn't realise so much but my dad looked at me and said 'Could you be any happier? 'But with the knowledge of my happiness came its closest friend. Guilt
Guilt that my friends weren't so well off. Their relationships weren't going so well. Their job wasn't as fun at Christmas time. They were sick. They were unhappy.
And I didn't feel happy anymore.
Maybe happiness, like love, is only true when it's shared. You can only be truly happy in the presence of others who are truly happy.
Can you happiness make someone who is sad happy? Or will it only make them feel worse?
Can you ever answer a question honestly, without taking in all the factors? Because today I feel great. But I have a mosquito bite on my foot that is itchy, and if you asked me right now how I was I'd say pretty pissed off actually.
So there's the ying and yang. You can't appreciate the good without the bad blah blah. But wouldn't it be nice, if when you were happy, and you knew it, you really could just clap your hands?