The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY THREE: EEF EYE INN EEE? FINE. NOW, LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
There are many definitions of the word fine.
But I’m here to talk about the adverb version.
In my opinion, it’s bull****.
You know it’s true.
Let’s be honest. And I mean right down to the bones honest. When we have been asked, ‘How are you?’ and when you answer back, ‘Fine’, you flat out lied.
Lied, Lied, Lied.
And when you asked that question to other people and heard that exact same answer, you knew it was a lie.
It’s our goto answer when we are feeling horrible, down in the dumps, depressed, worried, mad, etc. It’s the automatic reaction when we are feeling like the rest of the world won’t understand and we down want to take the time to explain. Or if we answer truthfully, we might feel like we are dumping our sorrows and worries on someone and we don’t want to do that because we’ll feel like superhuman trash if we do.
I know this is all true because I do it, too.
If you aren’t close to me and when you ask me if I’m alright, that’s the answer you are going to get.
Fine. I’m fine. Everything is fine. Fine… how are you? Oh, fine.
Fine, fine, fine.
And, of course. I’m not. Not even close.
You can read it on people’s faces when they say it. Their mouth may be smiling but it looks a bit like Mona Lisa. And you can see it in the eyes. Your eyes can smile along with your mouth and you can tell when the eyes don’t join in. As they say, the eyes are the windows to our souls and when you say, ‘I’m fine’, your eyes show the other person all the sadness and depression inside. It’s a bit like seeing an artist’s Blue Period.
I know I’m not the first person to point this out. It’s been talked about in songs, movies, TV shows, books. And the false term has been around for decades. At some point in history, we stopped allowing people to know when we are or feel weak. And maybe it started with men. Men can’t show weakness or emotions like sadness.
Men had to be men. They couldn’t be allowed to look like women.
What a bunch of crap…
In my opinion, women are stronger than men. Always had been, always will be.
But, of course, women have used to word ‘fine’ when it was a lie, too.
Speaking for me, when I have used the word ‘fine’ when it was a lie, it was because I didn’t want to bother my loved ones. I didn’t want to add to their own sadness or worries with my own.
And if someone asked me if I was alright and I didn’t know you or didn’t like you and I said, ‘fine’, it was because I didn’t trust you with my heart.
Simple as that.
The word ‘fine’ has started to bother me and I have tried to quit using it (though I have used it in phrases where I describe something that is great or amazing, as in ‘Scarlett is fine‘). I have tried to eradicate it from my vocabulary when it comes to describing how I feel. I might still want to keep how I feel to myself from some people but I won’t use the word fine. And I try not to use one-word answers, either, like alright, fine’s big sister.
I have started saying ‘I’ll make it’. It lets them know I’m struggling but have hope. Or I’ll just flat out say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it’ and then go on to some other topic with a smile (usually the dead smile that doesn’t include the eyes).
The lie with saying fine makes it such a loaded word. This small, one-syllable, four-lettered term becomes huge like a trojan horse. Or better yet, Doctor Who’s flying police box space ship, the time machine (it’s bigger on the inside).
I suggest we do away with the word (except describing Scarlet Johansson or your crush of choice). Let’s rip it from our vocabulary and toss it away and let the wind carry it. Let’s become more honest about our feelings. I’m not saying we have to delve in your sadness with just anybody who asks. You should tell your feelings to the people you love and trust. But we should just be more honest on how we feel to whoever asks. Say you’re sad or mad or depressed (or even happy) or whatever but you don’t want to talk about it. And then just move the conversation on or just walk away.
The word fine has caused us to become ashamed of our feelings. And we shouldn’t be ashamed of those. It’s a part of us and important. They make us who we are. And just like our bodies, we have to keep our feelings healthy. They must be given air and sunlight. You have got to let them out.
So, the next time someone asks you how you are or feeling, don’t tell them that four-lettered word. Tell them ‘I’ll get there’ or ‘I’m making it’ or ‘Things could be better but I don’t feel like talking about it now. How are you?’
And they’ll probably say fine.
And if it’s somebody you don’t like, hell, tell them to go take a hike.
At least it’ll be honest and your feelings will be known.
-Loyd Elmore Jr.
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.