Once, way back, a woman called me on my use of the word "fine". She stated that I would say "I'm fine" when I really wasn't. So this prompted me to take notice and to become more accurate --when it was warranted-- whenever I answered the question 'how are you?'
Today I was thinking about being "fine" and I want to present the case that there are degrees--or at least kinds of "fine".
There is the "fine" that is connected with the word then, as in "fine, then". Usually stated emphatically, as a retort , generally when one person is attempting to convince another and that other won't budge ... you know, I don't have to say but so much here.
Then there is the "fine" that comes out so quick that the already short word is bitten back into a yelp. The "fine" that stands very close to the tears that are welling up; the "fine" that indicates a losing battle in an attempt to control a rush of emotion.
There is the I'm not telling you anything "fine" and the I want to tell you everything "fine". The way I see it, there is a whole "fine" vocabulary, if one just pays attention.
Now I'm sure this is not what the woman meant, but it is what I observed, while I took notice of my own use of the word. And there is what is mostly meant, when I say, "I'm fine"...that when all is said and done for the day...I am alive...I am healthy...there are people who love and support me
...I am therefore... fine...just...fine.