Ongoing Stories of My Soul

Look over my shoulder as I ponder life.

“Oh, you’re fine.”

I’m kinda liking how folks are telling each other that we’re ‘fine’.
You know….one person gets in the other’s way and says, “Oh, I’m sorry!” and the other guy says, “Oh you’re fine.” How nice! It is good to wake up and amble through the day and have perfect strangers reaffirm our ‘fineness’. ‘Fine’ is a very safe word. I grew up saying, “That’s fine” which is an impersonal way of addressing a situation. Or, I might storm out of a room after a directive was given, and scream, Fine!!” Once, when I was in high school, I walked by a guy and heard him say, “Now she is fine!” It’s my blog so I can lie and say that he directed that comment towards me. But you know, sometimes ‘fine’ is the word we reach for out of our bag of answers, when asked point blank, “How are you?” “Fine.” It’s much simpler than saying, “Well, I’m heartbroken.” Or “The test indicates cancer.”  Or, “I didn’t get the job.” It is fine to say you are fine. Sometimes. Recently, I was in the pet food aisle of the grocery. I was waiting for this lady to move her cart and just stood. She looked up and burst out with “Oh…I am so sorry.” No big deal for me. I was in no hurry to lug 25 pounds of dog food off the top shelf. So, I replied, “Oh…you’re fine.” And that is when the exchange got creepy. This gal walks over and peers directly in my eyes and challenges me: “Am I REALLY fine?” She was serious. I was scared. I was not going to question anyone’s sanity over cat litter. So…I backed up my cart, smiled sweetly and as cheerfully as I could replied, “You’re just fine by me!” And then I fled to the frozen food aisle. Now this entire exchange made me think about telling perfect strangers that they are fine, when indeed they are kooks! But that’s okay. I’ve been told I was fine, when I wanted to retort, “Oh– I am SO far from fine!!” But what would that have solved? So folks, I say, let’s just keep on playing nice and treating one another with kindness. And in the end, it really will be fine.


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