Nothing riles me more than when my husband uses that four-letter “F” word—“Fine.” That’s his response when after an hour of
serious hair-doing, make-up spackling and a new outfit I ask, “How do I look?”
“Fine” is the ticket I paid for overstaying my parking meter. “Fine” is the adjective I use when the boss asks me how I like the well-done steak he’s cooked even though I asked for it rare. “Fine” is what I say before I slam the door after my husband tells me his his alcoholic aunt is coming over, and he won’t be able to stay.
Maybe I’m being too harsh. The dictionary definition suggests some measure of superiority, but “fine” spoken as a singular word by a white middle-aged man in response to how great his wife looks is just so tepid.
Now if Sean Puff Daddy Diddy Combs were to say I looked “fine,” he’d finesse the “fine.” He’d prolong it and tag on that much- needed “baby” as in “You look fiiiine, baby.” This would work for me. So would any other adjective like hot, sexy, dynamite, or
smokin’. Once in a while, my husband roots around in his rich vocabulary and pulls out “nice.” All right, he’s obviously not a word
guy. He’s a numbers guy. In his world zeros turn him on.
I played with the idea of a numeric rating scale, like the kind used in the Olympics, but could I really handle a score of 3? And if he
dared give me a 9.5 would I obsess about how I missed perfection by a half-point? I was beginning to see the precarious territory my
husband navigated. “Fine” started sounding a lot better. In fact, I had to admit “fine” sounded well, umm, hmm, just fine.