WARNING. THIS STORY REFERENCES BOOBS.
Yesterday, in the grocery store, I bumped a young woman’s basket with mine.
Me: “Oh gosh, I’m so sorry.”
Her: “You’re fine.”
When did “you’re fine” become an appropriate response to apologies? I hear it all the time and I hate it. I fantasize about grabbing her by the shoulders and saying, “No! No I’m not fine! I haven’t been fine since Carter was president! I’m weird and interesting and just beneath the surface of this expensive, fashionable outfit there’s a bra that is at least 17 years old and she’s hanging on by a thread!”
In my fantasy, right as I say that, my 17 yr old bra gives up and one of my middle aged boobs pops out and punches her in the face! And now she’s crying. And now SHE’S not fine. I take her into my arms and in my best mommy/therapy voice I say, “There, there. Now promise you’ll stop insisting to people that they’re fine. It’s rude and ridiculous and never true.” Bewildered she’ll answer back, “But I’m fine, aren’t I?” And I’ll say, sweetly, “No, no you’re not fine, you just got punched in the face with a boob and besides, “fine” is bullshit. Don’t settle for fine. Be wild and fascinating and heartbroken and annoying because that’s truer!”
Wiser, stronger, truer...she’ll disappear into the wine section (because now she needs a drink). I’ll tuck my old boob back into my old bra and revel in the gift of knowing that I don’t ever have to pretend to be “fine” again because I am a goddamn, grown up Woman.