Everything's FINE

There’s an AA acronym for FINE: f***ed up (or freaked out if you prefer), Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. So when someone asks you, “How are you doing?” A more honest response would be the AA acronym of “I’m FINE.”

Emily Fox King

July 15 - August 16

I think flowers represent our universal desire to appear like we have our shit together. Historically, the still life genre is about demonstration, or even showing off the artist’s skill level. It’s also an opportunity for the patron to show what great taste they have. Both participate in putting forth a glossy version of their “best face.”

 

While not technically a religion, my husband claims that Alcoholics Anonymous is his church. His mom found sobriety when he was 6 years-old and from then on he accompanied her to all her meetings. There’s an AA acronym for FINE: F***ed Up (or Freaked Out if you prefer), Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. So, when someone asks you, “How are you doing?” A more honest response would be the AA acronym of “I’m FINE.” 

 

I was the middle child of 4 sisters and 2 brothers in a large 1970’s split-level house in Pasco, Washington. We had a swimming pool, horses, four wheelers, and as we turned into teenagers a fleet of Toyotas…a car for each driver! My dad worked as a medical doctor and my mom was a stay-at-home mother artist turned interior decorator/antiques dealer/silk florist/business owner. 

 

In 2011, I got married. I was 29 years old. I had always wanted to get married and had grandiose ideas as to what marriage should look like. My parents are still married to this day, and they rarely fight. I’ve never heard my Dad say a swear word. I had a real shocker of a time my first year of marriage! My husband had only been sober for 6 months. I became an instant stepmom to his then 3-year-old, and overnight I went from having sufficient funds for a single gal, to large legal bills of a custody battle, food stamps, church food orders, bills going to collections, a really old rental house, and worst of all, a dog owner. (I’m terrified of dogs.) On top of that, I had married my divorced mother-in-law’s only child, her all, and her everything. I felt tricked: I thought I had agreed to marry one person, but in reality, it was three people and one dog. It didn’t look or feel anything like I thought marriage would be. 

 

I cried every weekend the first couple months of our marriage. (Now I’m in therapy and I know what all the tears were about: GRIEF). So much sadness and disappointment about what this supposed blissful married life was actually like. I spent years feeling overwhelmed, verbally abused, and obligated. My husband came out of a difficult childhood with a single mom, who had a schizophrenia diagnosis and alcoholism, quite the opposite of my big happy Mormon family. I definitely heard him say swear words, even big ugly ones directed at me. I was devastated, codependent, and broke all the time. It was super lame and I hated it.

 

These paintings are where I’m at right now: 40-years-old, 11 years of marriage with two children that I birthed and one lovable 14-year-old freebie, a loving and ever-evolving husband who does not swear at me anymore with years of sobriety under his belt. He’s processed some of his crap and we aren’t as broke, plus I’m a lot tougher than I used to be. It’s a beautifully messy, rich and full life. It’s FINE. Everything’s FINE and it’s okay.