This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill is the word “well.”
When I read it, I was transported back in time to two incidents that involved the word “well” that I thought I’d share with you here.
The first such incident occurred at my first job interview after graduating from college. I was extremely nervous, as one might expect. The man interviewing me asked me an open-ended question. I can’t recall what the question was, but that’s not important.
Anyway, he asked the question and I took a moment to consider my answer. After crafting in my mind what I thought would be a good response, I started my answer by saying, “Well….”
But before I could get out the next word, he interrupted me and said, “That’s a deep subject,” and he started to laugh. I just looked at him, clueless as to what the hell he was talking about.
“You know,” he said, “a well is deep. A deep well. A deep subject.” Sensing that I was still lost, he explained that it was a joke. “You gotta lighten up a little, son.”
Needless to say, I didn’t get that job.
The second incident came up in a rather awkward situation after I quit my job to go to graduate school. I had gotten the flu and had missed a few weeks of classes. When I returned to one of my classes, the professor asked me how I was feeling. I told him I was feeling good.
“No, you’re not feeling good,” he said. “You’re feeling well.”
“Okay,” I said, “good, well, whatever.”
Then he started to lecture me. “Feeling well refers to feeling healthy, as in not being sick. When someone asks you how you’re feeling, they are probably inquiring about your health, so it’s appropriate to answer that you’re feeling well.”
“Fine,” I said. “I’m feeling well.”
But he was not done. “Feeling good is more of a general state of mind, so ‘I’m feeling good’ can refer to someone feeling happy, optimistic, proud, etc. You really need to be more precise and know when to say you’re feeling well and when to say you’re feeling good.”
“Thank you,” I said. “That’s good to know. Or should I be saying that’s well to know?”