For years now when people ask how I am, I answer, “grateful.” For years I have received a number of what I call cold shoulder responses. Today was no different. I was at the cleaners and the young woman at the counter asked rather automatically as she readied to take my clothes, “How are you today?” As usual, I said, “Grateful.” She went on asking for my name as if I had said nothing. Her face was impassive. Was she that concentrated on her work? It occurred to me maybe she felt she had nothing to be grateful about. Many do, without verbalizing it. Perhaps she was indignant thinking how dare she come in here grateful, she’s not the one who has to toil with dirty clothes for little pay. Then again she might have been tired, not paying attention the way she glossed over details which kept her from coping. I don’t know why she gave my “grateful” the cold shoulder but I walked away feeling she needed someone like me reminding her that gratitude is a powerful sentiment.