What do you have against this question?
A school of thought believes that the scuffle around this question must have emanated from the hospitals. Doctors ask their sick patient how their health was during the night hours. If you have ever been sick, you would agree that often times, the night hours are when you have the bumpiest rides. It only makes sense for the doctors, who care about the well-being of their patients to ask if they had it easy or tough.
Early in my career, I once had a boss who queried a colleague for asking how her night was. Ordinarily, I try to stay out of people’s businesses, but I couldn’t help but ask why she reacted the way she did. All I could get was “that’s rude”. Why was it rude? No one knew. Apparently, there is a rule. And since people are often times too lazy to think for themselves, they all just go with the consensus.
But, who made this rule?
In Igbo land, one of the ways we greet each other is by asking the question Ibola chi? Which literally translates to – have you woken up? The question sounds stupid, right? I mean you are seeing me up and awake and you still ask if I am awake. Guess what? We all gladly answer the question. I mean why not? When you look at these things critically, there is actually no right or wrong way to greetings, so long as it comes from a good place.
What makes “how was your day” tolerable?
If you find the former offensive, why not the latter? And you know what? With the exception of family members and very close friends, most people who ask you how your night was, really do not care. It could have been good or bad, but how does it affect anyone else? So why don’t you say a traditional ‘fine’ and move on?
And have you not observed that sometimes, you just have difficult nights. You are not sick, neither were you up and sweating it out all night with your significant other, however, you just toss and turn all night. Some people have mastered the art of overcoming life’s biggest struggle (getting up to pee at night). Why get up and lose your sleep when you can get it done right at the spot where your body lay.
What I am trying to say is, sometimes, your night hours are filled with a series of activities, other times, they are uneventful. So, I let you decide. Was your night good or bad?
Except you are a child, don’t make me push words into your mouth by asking – hope you had a good night sleep? Because obviously I am not ‘allowed’ to ask if you had a troubled night. Answer for yourself then.
Again, who made this rule?
Whether you find it offensive or not, to me and a bunch of the other members of the break-a-rule-a-day club, the question “how was your night?” has come to stay. There is nothing you can do about it.