I find this particular piece of everyday American culture fascinating.
What? What was that? Did you just ask how I am?
Why, thank you so much for asking. I am absolutely, 100% NOT fine. There are good things going on--Emily comes home Sunday, Ari is doing great with gymnastics, Jeff got the backyard sort of gated off so Howard can run free, I've been able to write every day this week, Gabby has been sleeping through the night in her crib--and bad things going on--rough news from my doctor, I'm still having trouble concentrating long enough to read a book or even watch a TV show, we're struggling financially like you can't imagine--so no, I am not fine. If you are interested in hearing more about any of those issues, I would be happy to elucidate upon them if I feel a level of comfort with you or deflect your query should I feel that your intent is to fuel gossip.
That's my answer, ladies and gentlemen. (Of course, ask me tomorrow and I'll say, "I'm fine, thanks, how are you?")
So ... how are you?