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Monday, August 07, 2006

And you?

“Politeness is the art of choosing among one's real thoughts.” ~Abel Stevens

Leave it to my cynical and pessimistic ass to question the legitimacy of whether or not someone actually means it when they ask how my weekend was or what I am up to for the weekend, but there it is because I would really like to know. It’s one of those standard things that is polite to do I would imagine. But it’s also polite to do a lot of things, like say, telling someone that they have a little something hanging out of their nose, but then again, I am mean. And unless I really like you, I might just let that person go on with their bad selves and a little boogie off their right nostril, for my own amusement.

But really, when one asks how my weekend was or went, does that person actually care or is it just because their Mom taught them manners and I was raised by heathens? Do you really care that I took a three hour nap on Saturday in between viewings of A Clockwork Orange and Chasing Amy? Or that I had to resist the urge to laugh at a four year old for screaming about the small cut on his toe, because my God, a small scrape does not a staph infection make. Are these things that you are really waiting with baited breath to hear about?

I will admit that I do ask how one’s weekend went if I know that the person I am asking had an interesting weekend filled with a ménage a troi and a visit to TenPenh planned; because those are two things that I might actually be interested in hearing about. But then again, I am mean and also can be somewhat polite because them there heathens that raised me (they actually adopted me from a pack of grizzlies)…well they done taught me to be polite and endure conversations about how a normal trip to the beach took like 8 full hours because of the traffic. Because I would never bore anything with such a thing. Ever.

So a question for all of you: Is asking how the weekend went or what the plans for the weekend will be an act of politeness or do you really care or are you participating in some social experiment on how long it takes for one to be bored to actual tears?

14 Comments:

Anonymous sweet said...

I ask when I care, and I don't when I don't. Fair 'nuff? And I agree you should tell people when they have a lil booger in their noses. Otherwise it's impossible to talk to them without thinking 'booger booger booger.'

11:55 AM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Impossible to talk and yet mildly amusing.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Ashburnite said...

I usually ask, but it's more out of politeness. I always hope that the person will give me an abreviated answer, and not every detail, but I have been burned by that before.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Dagny said...

I usually only ask when I actually want to know the answer.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Gabby said...

I work with 7 WOMEN, all in one tiny office. Asking about the weekend has become more of a gossip starter than as if we were really interested in what they did, etc. Kinda being nosy, so then when that particular person leaves the room, we can all chat about what she just said. We are mean. Arent we?

2:13 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I really care when I ask about weekend plans. Other people might've come up with better ideas than I did, so it pays to keep tabs. ;)

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Angela said...

Hm, I ask because I care... because I'm just good and saintly like that, ya know! Then again, I do have kind of insane friends, so I usually get pretty interesting answers.

And I typically can't bring myself to tell people about boogery nose type situations--not because I'm mean and heartless, but because I'm too mortified to bring up that I noticed it. I know. I'm ridiculous, but I spend my life perpetually painfully embarrassed for other people.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:04 PM  
Blogger babyjewels said...

You know, I've even stopped asking "how are you" because I'm tired of getting these long drawn out here's all my problem answers. So I guess, yes, mostly polite. I do want to know, but cliff notes people. Cliff Notes.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Adeline said...

I usually genuinely want to know.

I can be cranky and foul mooded, but I am generally not mean. I am not saying I haven't been mean, there are times when a person really is just begging for it with their idiocy, but generally speaking, I am interested to know if I ask. I like learning more about people. If I don't ask, I don't care.

I do get annoyed by people who ask but then do not genuinely care to hear anything at all except "fine thanks, and yours?"

And I learn not to ask them people who go into a long diatribe referencing people they have talked about before but who i don't know, referencing situations I am not familiar with and generally use the opportunity to prattle on to any sentient being about their woes. I do not ask these people anything. I always nod politely and hope our exchange doesn't last too long.

I hope I never have to work with gabby, no offense gabby, but I have worked in places where people do this and I find it depressing.

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Lassa said...

Ha! You're mean?! I never would have known!

As for me, I'm kinda mean too, so if I'm not interested, I just don't ask...

9:06 AM  
Blogger Pink Lemonade Diva said...

"How was your weekend" has definitely gone the route of "how are you" pleasantries. The office environment only makes it worse, the trade off being: do you really want to hear about Junior's soccer tournament, and does coworker really want to know why you can't remember Friday night? I ask it and hope for the abbreviated version.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Bone said...

I usually ask people at work just as some sort of polite workplace ritual.

Also wishing now I hadn't blogged today about how it took me six full hours to get home from Atlanta, instead of three.

I don't have that much going on in my life, OK?

5:20 PM  
Blogger Adeline said...

Haha forks

My dad used to come in my room when i was a teenager, comment on how filthy it was then ask where I had hid the spoons.

"There are only 3 left, and we should have 6." And then he would imply heavily that I had TAKEN the spoons and I had HIDDEN them as an intentional act of spite against my family.

This can only make me laugh (the really sad part about this is that I am going to visit him in the hospital tommorrow as he is struggling with having basically drunk himself to death).

3:03 AM  

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