“Hi. How are ya?”
“I’m great, thanks! How ’bout you?”
This typical Canadian greeting is repeated millions of times daily across our country, part of our polite character, and our culture. There may be acceptable variations on the reply, depending on how well the two people know each other.
“I feel a cold coming on, but I’m fine.”
“I didn’t sleep well last night, so I’m tired.”
It would be totally unacceptable to say, “I have a touch of lung cancer, but, other wise, I’m fine!” Simply. Not. Polite.
It is interesting that we ask each other this question so frequently, but we do not actually expect to listen to an honest answer. It is just the culturally accepted standard greeting. For me, when my honest answer was, “I’ve just been diagnosed with lung cancer, thanks,” I could not break cultural expectations and say that!
When I initially learned of my diagnosis, and people asked, ‘How are ya?’ I felt like a deer-in-the-headlights; ...continue reading