A dangerous word; an ambiguous word; unfortunately we all use it. Seriously, does anyone know what it really means? It’s completely obsolete! Worse, no one knows how to interpret it because it can mean a million different things! But why do we still use it? I’ll tell you. Because it’s the perfect word! You can be ambiguous and still avoid additional prying questions and lengthy conversations.
Now of course we have the other side: hey, you are looking fine (wink wink)! Now that isn’t always an acceptable comment but maybe it can be categorized as a ghetto compliment. Women find good looking men who are in shape “fine;” which I dare say on behalf of men, is also acceptable in its unique ghetto form. Fine should only be used in construction such as describing sanding wood, finishes but what do we do with this word when it’s the answer to a personal or emotional question? How do we interpret a loved one saying “I am fine” and how much should we pry?
So these last few weeks, I’ve had this battle with a lot of people close to me. Generally when dealing with co-workers or colleagues, the answer is ok; however when it comes to a difficult or emotional issue involving someone you truly care about the answer “I’m fine” is so common that it should be scary. Why do we dismiss it so easily? Is it because most of us don’t have the time or energy to pry? Is that awful? Yes! Is it common? Unfortunately, yes!
So I quote this from a movie involving stealing gold in mini cars, cannot think of the title at the moment but here it is:
F: freaked out
I can’t explain the word any better. The root of the word says it all. We all want to disguise our issues and what better way to close a conversation than to say its fine. Men know to be on high alert when their spouse says the word: either she is secretly planning his death or storing it to use it later in future arguments. “Fine” is never the end. Women know that when a man says fine he doesn’t care or wasn’t listening. In that case “fine” is the end. I generalize, I know, but when I started thinking about this, it all made sense! The hidden message is we don’t want to scream but want to be heard. It’s perfect. So to all those of you who overuse this word, we are watching. Remember, everyone is “fine” on some level so know you are not alone!