Will’s Thoughts – What We Mean When We Say That’s Okay
Why is it such a big part of our nature to say “That’s okay”, when it’s really not okay? In fact, we use ‘that’s okay’ in a number of strange ways! ‘That’s okay’ may mean that the mistake we just made wasn’t that bad, “That’s okay, it’s only a sheet of paper, don’t worry about it.” It can mean that something didn’t cause too much damage, “That’s okay, it’s only a scratch.” ‘That’s okay’ can mean that someone didn’t expect more of us anyway, “That’s okay, I’m not surprised…”, or it can be an expression of relief that things didn’t turn out as bad as they could have, “Holy crap that was close, but that’s okay…” One thing’s for certain, any time that you hear someone say ‘that’s okay’, pay real close attention to how it’s being used.
Sometimes, ‘that’s okay’ means that we’ve humbly accepted rejection, “That’s okay, I understand…”. Other times, it means that everything’s fine. “Sure, that’s okay with me.” ‘That’s okay’ can mean a situation is temporarily bearable, “That’s okay for now…”, or that there’s no point in dealing with it, because it’ll resolve itself anyhow, “Come on, that’s okay, it’ll clear up on its own.” It’s used both as words of encouragement, and of empathy. “So what, maybe your house isn’t quite as expensive, but that’s okay…”, or “I know it was a terrible loss for you, but that’s okay, you still have…” ‘That’s okay’ can be silent, spoken or written. Isn’t it weird how the same expression that can put a person down, can also pick them up?
Come election time, ‘that’s okay’ gets heard a whole heap more! From the politician’s point of view, it means, “I know what my opponents have been saying about me, but that’s okay, because…” From the voter’s point of view it means, “Sure, I know the woman’s a thieving, lying rat that’d sell my soul to the devil for a penny, but that’s okay, the other guy’s even worse.” Then, after the election, political ditches are full of, “That’s okay, we did our best…”, and “That’s okay, at least I got out and voted!” Sometimes, we even hear it during terms of office (I paraphrase), “Yes, I’d been drinking. I knew that I wasn’t in any condition to be driving, but that’s okay, because I’ve learned my lesson and I’m sorry.” (a true story about a premier known for lying, whose political party later had the audacity to award him the Order of B.C.!)
Maybe it’s time for mankind to try something radically new, something almost revolutionary, like instead of saying, “That’s okay”, we could say what’s really on our mind. Things like, “Count my finger!” or “Maybe if you applied simple physics, like leverage, you could manage to work your head out of your…” I have used and abused ‘that’s okay’ for decades. I not only used it to reassure myself, sadly, I used it most of all to rationalize my irrationality to others. Yep, I figure that there’s a heap of ways to use ‘that’s okay’, and like most things, there’s both good and bad. But, I reckon that the worst use of all, the one that makes a man’s blood freeze in his veins, is when he’s alone with his lady in a real intimate setting and gets ‘distracted’, then hears her softly lie, “Oh honey, that’s okay…”
Will’s thoughts prove that everybody has opinions, but he has way more than he should. From dogs that won’t stop barking, to the antics of his spouse, ‘Crazy Lady’, Will’s Thoughts will make you smile.