It's not that I never do anything, I've actually been pretty busy lately. But that just never matters when the question is asked. I think sometimes it accurately sums up what I've been up to, and othertimes it doesn't even touch the surface. See, whether I've been living a life as exciting as a rock star or leading a mundane everyday experience, whenever someone I haven't seen in awhile asks that obligatory, "So, what have you been up to lately?" I always have the same answer: "You know, working and shit." The "working" part of the phrase lets the person know that, yes, I am employed as a contributing member of society, and the "and shit" covers everything else in between. If I just said "work", the person would assume that I have no time for anything other than my job (save for the necessity of eating, shitting, sleeping and pissing), and this may even cause the said person some undue worry at the fact that I've been under such a great amount of work-related stress. However, by adding two simple words to the term "work", I'm able to express the fact that my life consists of a harmonious balance between work and recreational activities (shit).
Sometimes I wish I had more to offer in terms of a response when I run into a casual acquaintance. I find these encounters painfully uncomfortable and after that a few moments of awkward silence, I end up meekly limping away from the forced conversation after mumbling something to the effect of "nice talking to you" or "see ya around". I honestly feel more comfortable around complete strangers. There's something liberating in knowing that you will probably never see a person again as long as you're alive, or even if you do, neither of you will recognize one another. It's this kind of liberty that allows me to walk up to people at a food court and ask without embarassment, "If you're not going to finish them fries, I'll take em."
However, I'm of the strong belief that you never get judged as harshly for saying too little as you do for saying too much. I happened to run into a girl I went to high school with the other day at a 7-11 convenience store and before assessing the situation properly I walked over and asked, "Hey, (name I won't mention goes here), how have you been?" And as I was refilling my coffee for the third time, listening to this girl go on and on about how she caught her babies' dad fucking her little sister and how he said it was her own fault because she's been too tired to satisfy his needs ever since the baby came along and how to think she was actually thinking of surprising him with a blow-job because he's been such a caring father....... So, with no end to her tirade in sight, I'm left there desperately looking for an out going, "why didn't I just wave to this bitch and keep walking." These are the kinds of people that can benefit the most from the "working and shit" approach to random encounters with casual acquaintances.