I am not one to fish for compliments. As an "ugly duckling" growing up, I learned that what's inside is so much more important. Even still, I do everything I can to look my best and care a lot about what I wear.
And, although I don't fish for compliments, like anyone, I cringe at criticism. Recently, I was handed a whopper. Twice, actually, in the last couple months, I was given the grand-daddy of slaps---the dreaded, "You look fine." I am not even kidding, I was told this twice. Not by my husband (he would never ...) or kids (they have said much worse, for example as I was getting ready to go out my daughter said, "I thought we said no to that outfit.") I was told I look fine by a kind, well-meaning friend. And it was not in the "girl, you look fine" tone.
What does "fine" mean? I'll tell you what "fine" means. "Fine" sucks. Fine is mediocre. Fine is for bland food, a dull outfit, boring hair, no mood. Fine is for a nondescript day, an uninspiring project and the color gray. Fine is not trying and it's evident but not entirely offensive. Fine, in the end, means that little effort was involved.
I don't do FINE. But, a look in the mirror shows that some slacking on my part is starting to read as fine. I've been fooling myself a bit about doing the best I can with upkeep, dressing and fitness. It's true. I may not be a monster, but I am soft and tired. Perhaps, I am fine.
But I will not remain fine. Nor sir. I am sure I can do better than fine. I must formulate a plan of attack. It may take a few months but I'll be back. Fine. Hunh. My friend, "you have awoken a sleeping giant" (that IS a fat joke).