I've been getting a lot of concerned phonecalls from my parents lately. Each call contains an exchange that is some variation of the following:
Parent: So, how are you doing?
Me: Doing well, how are you?
Parent: No, but how are you doing? Without Clint there? Aren't you horribly lonely?
Me: Oh, you know, I'm doing okay with it. I've been keeping busy with a, b, and c.
Parent: Seriously, the lonliness must be destroying you from the inside out like a supporating cancer. It's okay, you can tell me.
Me: It's...no...I'm fine, really! I'm not happy about the situation, obviously, but I'm dealing with it. I'm okay, honestly!
Parent: I think you should think about joining a gym.
Now, I don't want to give the wrong impression here. I love my mom and dad very much, and their concern for me is touching. I know that they just want to make sure I'm not putting on a brave face when in actuality I'm about to throw myself in front of the R train or something. I know that. However, the conversation itself is starting to depress me more than the reality of being alone ever did. Yes, it turns out that to me, trying to convince someone that (truthfully) I'm not desperately unhappy is worse than the admittedly less-than-ideal situation that sparked their concern for me in the first place. Who knew?