Me: So, how’s your mother?
Her: Scrunches up face
Me: She’s okay, right?
Her: Makes face as though she has terrible, terrible news, but cannot put it into words.
Me: OH MY GOD! SHE’S OKAY, RIGHT?!?!?!
Her: Well, I never know how to answer. It’s so difficult.
Me: Silent, shocked, breathless, thinking about the fact that my friend was kind of mysterious about her most recent doctor’s visit and maybe she had tests and not only that, I don’t really KNOW her boyfriend because he’s quiet and doesn’t talk much and what if maybe he’s really not as nice as he seems.
Her: I mean, how is she? Hmmmm. She didn’t win the lottery, so she’s not great. And nothing terrible happened, so things aren’t bad. It’s just such a hard question to answer.
Me: It’s really okay to just say “fine.”