The Answer to “What’s New?”
I’m often at a loss for words when someone asks me “What’s new?” My brain seems to hesitate and hit a pause button, and I search through the now-in-dissaray recorded memory files, trying to remember when I last spoke with this person … what have we already talked about … I don’t want to be repetitive … what has occured since that last meeting? Most often I leave things out rather than risk being redundant, and sometimes leave things out just because they are not relevant to the day. I’m not quick anymore in deciphering, from the tone or the posture or the energy level of the question, whether the person asking wants a health report or a family report, a community response or a weather summary… sometimes the question is intimidating, as the wrong answer may contain the wrong content and might, in turn, earn the asker’s annoyance. I don’t like to annoy. I don’t like to be annoyed, either.Realizing after the fact that I’ve answered wrong is something that weighs me down for the rest of the conversation.
So, while I’m searching through that hesitant pause, a look of sometimes concern, sometimes disinterest, or sometimes amusement might flash across the questioner’s eyes; that’s when I’ll snap back and repeat something inane that I’d seen on the news, or read online somewhere. Or I’ll comment on the weather while steering clear of complaining about it. It has been an unusually calm Spring, yet the meteorologist revel in making comparisons to “the hottest” or “the stormiest” or “the dryest” or “the wettest” or “the coldest” on record … comparisons that are hyperbole at best, and really not worth affirming. The weather is what it is, and tomorrow will be what it will be. When there is no danger to warn against, no expected calamity for which to prepare, I think the meterologists ought to be furloughed until needed again. They seem to be doubling up on local ‘news’ broadcasts, and taking expensive minutes away from reporters who could be covering real news.
Once, I would perhaps have answered with a political observation, given that this is an election year. But sadly, the pundits are acting like the meteorologists: they compete with each other, highlighting the sad state of affairs surrounding this year’s presidential election – there is too much commentary and repeat coverage on too much vulgar, hateful spats between candidates, but to bring it into a conversation as an answer to “What’s new” would elicit its own negative response … I no longer presume to understand, or want to understand who’s voting for whom… People sometimes surprise me by telling me their choice, but more often it’s left untold. I’ve been public about my liberal democratic leanings and don’t have to proclaim them any more. My beliefs and values remain the same. Those who know me logically know that I will support people of like minds. But once again, as has often happened, my choice may not be the party’s choice. But my party’s choice will have to be mine. I could never vote the other way.
I read an interesting article yesterday concerning the Republican presumed nominee. In it, the writer positions Trump as a candidate ‘too sick to lead, with a lethal personality disorder or narcissism.’ I shared that link to the article and headed the shared post with my own suggestion: The emperor has no clothes. I truly believed at the outset he may well have entered this campaign to show that he was rich enough to do so, or to expose the process for the charade it has become … but it seems now, as he has the majority of delegates’ nominative votes, that he intends to stay in and become the November name on the final ballot. What a mockery of our inclusive republic he will be … what a global humiliation for Americans who truly understand and live by our constitution and laws. What will this election’s historical label be? What will future American generations write of us? Who in the world beyond our borders will ever respect us again?
So my respose to “What’s new?” will become the evasive answer that is but a question in itself … “Not much … what’s new with you?”
For those asking in a vein of health concern … I’m going to see the dermatologist next week, a month early, as a rash is developing on both forearms, one centered over the original melanoma site. I’m doing this beause the larger melanoma site on my back began first exhibited as a similar rash. I’ll schedule an appointment with the neurologist to discuss the steady burning/scalding sensation in my right arm, and ask whether my new nurse practitioner’s recommendation for a brain scan would be better served wit
h an MRI, as it’s been five years since my last one (I think.) I’ve overlooked my usual May visit with the enterologist who monitors my thyroid cyst and osteoporosis treatment, so the June Reclast treatment probably won’t happen until fall. I’ve decided to disontinue the talk therapy with the psychologist but keep her phone number handy and call her if a need arises, and she is in full agreement with that. And I’ll slow the visits to the psychiatrist to every three months instead of two, as the medication seems to be working fine and needs no further adjustments at this time.
As always, I wish you well!
And here’s the article on Trump’s narcissism: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-north-patterson/too-sick-to-lead-the-leth_b_10086768.html