I’m great, I’m terrific

When people ask me how I’m doing, I always tell them, “I’m great,” bare minimum, I’m doing great. You know, you like positivity, right? Well then why settle for anything less? I tell people how great I’m doing and they like it, they appreciate the jolt of good vibes I’m sending their way. I even like to say it aggressively, like, “I’m great!” but short, like a really intense response, I’m staring at you directly in the eye, that hand shake we’re engaged in, doesn’t it hurt? Not a lot, but just a little bit, right? That’s because it’s a great handshake.


But like I said, that’s my bare minimum. So actually, if you ever run into me on the street, and you say, “What’s up Rob? How’s it going?” and I’m telling you that I’m great, well, honestly, I’m not really doing that well. Because that’s my bare minimum, that’s the basest level of interaction I’ll allow myself with another human being. If I’m just great, yeah, I’m glad that I got to maybe spark some positivity with my left hand, as it smacked your right shoulder while we were in the middle of that ultra-firm handshake. But your great, that’s my not-so-great.

And things aren’t usually that bad in my life, I don’t have too much to complain about. Which is why most of my day-to-day interactions will fall more “terrific” on the scale than they will merely “great.” I say it like an affirmation, “I’m terrific, how are you?” with added emphasis on the “rif.” Ter-RIF-ic. I might forgo the handshake for a high-five, not a regular five, OK, my hand is all the way up here for a reason, and if you present an outstretched low open palm, don’t expect that I’m going to come down to make contact. No, I’m going to stand here with my hand all the way up, and if you don’t make a move, eventually I’ll force it, I’ll say, “Come on man, high five!” and then when we make contact, I’m looking for an audible slapping sound, all right, yeah, it might hurt, but it’s not real pain, that’s the feeling of you not having experienced a real high-five in quite some time, so you’ll get used to it, all right? Terrific, I’ll repeat it again after that slap, it was loud enough that everyone around turned their heads in our direction, and I’ll extend that spotlight to you, I’ll say it a little louder, “We’re doing terrific over here.”

And again, I don’t want to get too hung up on levels and scales, my terrific equals your OK. But that’s exactly what it is, if I’m terrific, I’m just OK. And I don’t know about you, but I really hate settling for just OK, no way dude, life’s too short to go around feeling just kind of all right. Which is why, don’t get too hung up on the high-five thing. Yeah, it’s a little aggressive, and definitely loud, but I try not to really let myself get too comfortable feeling simply terrific. I’d say that the majority of people I run into say hi to me, and when they ask how I’m doing, I’ll tell them that, “I’m better than ever.”

Now we’re getting into some genuine good emotions here, some truly positive positives. Just embrace it, I’m not trying to rub it in your face, because, again, don’t read too much into it, all right, this my way of how you would say that you’re doing fine, everything’s fine, I’m fine. But I’m better than ever. Just hop on, there’s plenty of room on my express bus to outstanding good feelings.

Just don’t tell me that you’re doing well. I hate it when I ask someone, “How’s it going?” and they’re like, “I’m well.” I’m just like, man, what a buzz kill. Who says well anyway? Like I know it’s correct, and I know it makes sense to write it out that way. But to say it? In actual conversation? You’re well? You sound like a textbook. And now I’m just of great again. And I won’t even say anything, I think I see my friend Jim over there anyway. Maybe he’s got what I need to recharge the batteries here.

And no, I don’t think it’s disingenuous, trying to come across as better than I actually am. I’m just constantly reaching, like maybe if I tell you that I’m better than ever, maybe you’ll light up a little inside. Maybe I’ll inspire you to a higher level of however it is you’d describe yourself at the moment. And then I look at your eyes widening, I can see all of that positivity weaseling its way inside your head, I think, I did that, that was me. And I get pumped up. So when I said I was better than ever, maybe I wasn’t. But now I might be.

And so I’ll correct myself, I’ll add something like, “You know what? This is one of the best days of my life!” (emphasis on that life.) And then a high-five isn’t going to do, OK, I need something better, maybe I’ll get up real close and I’ll shadow box, like I’ll give you two or three fake punches to the gut before letting out a really intense laugh, “ha HA!” and then sidle up next to you, my left arm wrapping around your neck, like a noogie without the actual noogie part, and with my right hand, I’ll pat you on the gut, like we’re brothers, like we’re two guys just horsing around, reveling in the unlimited potential of our out-of-this-world dispositions. Hey come on, let’s go get some ice cream. Yeah, the ice cream place two blocks down, come on, I’ll race you! Let’s go! Ha HA!