Everyone tells them – the “little white lies.” Right? Maybe.
Little white lies have been on my mind today. They aren’t the same for me as they are for you. I have Asperger’s, and part of Asperger’s is an “inappropriate” attachment to the “truth” and “honesty.” And a difficulty detecting – or anticipating – deceit & dishonesty in others. That part has landed me in some seriously hot water over the years.
But the “little white lies” I’m thinking about today are ones most people tell everyday. Someone, perhaps a clerk at a store, asks you “how you are doing” today. You automatically answer with “fine” or at least “okay.”
It’s harder for me. I am not “fine” or even “okay” on any given day. But the aspie aversion to lying causes me to look blankly at the person, to see if they are just saying it reflexively, because they were told to greet everyone that way, or if, as occasionally happens, they are someone who really means it. Sometimes it’s a friend or family member asking, and how much they know about me & my health struggles factors into my answer.
When stumped, brain-fogged into a state of incomprehension, I usually simply answer with “I’m here.” If “here” is somewhere other than my bed, then I guess I could, or should, say “I’m okay.” Because getting out of my bed would mean I am “okay” by the standards of what some doctors call “the new normal.”
I’ve heard Gabrielle Gifford’s doctors using this term – “the new normal” – in reference to her rehab. That they will work to get her as functioning as possible, but she was shot through the head, so there has to be an understanding that she may have to adjust to a “new normal.”
So, what should I say when someone asks? The Aspie wants to tell the truth, but most people couldn’t really give a shit, and they don’t even really hear what I say, anyway. I guess you will know, the next time you ask me, by my reply, as to how much I think you care, or want to hear.
Today, I am grumpy & irritable and blowing my constantly drippy nose & coughing. I’ve been sick on top of sick since Christmas, when I picked up food poisoning that led to a cascade of dehydration & electrolyte imbalances that led to PVC’s of the heart. About the time I got that mess under control, I picked up the plague-like cold going around, no doubt on one of my visits to the doctor, and have been sniffling, coughing, and fatigued – exhausted – beyond words.
Today I am not “okay” even by the “new normal” standards of “okay.”
Good thing I’m not going anywhere someone would ask, isn’t it? I might give them an earful!
Ah well, this, too, shall pass… eventually.