Thursday, November 12, 2015

One Size Fits All

In my younger years, there was a song about 'ticky-tacky boxes' that referred to all the subdivisions springing up with identical rows of houses and folks with no individuality. Back then, in sixties/early seventies, young people in particular were striving to be different, to be a new generation. I find it ironic that the very folks striving for that individuality are the same ones who crave and demand the one size fits all mentality now.

I posted a link to an article that had personal meaning--that spoke to my frustrations, especially with my non-writing. Evidently, it struck a chord with quite a few other writers because they shared it, too. But I noticed a couple writers that pooh-poohed the idea of the post, more or less saying it was a cop-out.

That's pretty much the attitude of people all over the world when exposed to an idea that doesn't fit in with their world view. Buck up people. If you just believe/live/eat/exercise/drink/whatever I do, life will be bright and happy and...blah, blah, blah. Rather than celebrating our individuality, we're inundated with demands to be just like everyone else. And woe to those who don't fit in.

In the human history, it's always been a case of 'you are your place in society'. Once a peasant, always a peasant. Once a king (unless you really pissed off the peasants) always a king. When I was a kid, there was nothing as deadly as a woman who showed up in church without a hat. Or didn't wear a dress. If you were too poor to own 'go to church' clothing, then you'd better sit on the back row to hide your shame. Charity apparently did NOT begin at church.

I could type the same paragraph above, change a few words and make it relevant to color, ethnicity, gender, or just about any other way we humans use to separate and classify ourselves. While we demand uniformity, we seize on our differences to show our superiority. Why?

We are not all one size. What I might find relevant or encouraging, another might disagree with or reject. So what? If the shoe fits me, why are you insisting it's all negative because it doesn't fit you? We are all sizes, ages, colors, and have different life circumstances. What I might be struggling with, another may have no knowledge or experience with. That doesn't mean my struggle isn't real.

One of the writing skills I absolutely cannot wrap my head around is POV. I cannot get it. LOTS of well-meaning editors, fellow writers, teachers have all tried to pound it into my head to no avail. I imagine there are other skills just as elusive to other folks. That's because we're all different.

Some of us embrace our individuality with obvious flare. Others are quietly different. That's as it should be. I once had a conversation with a neighbor who came over to my house. She was...OCD about her home. It looked like a model house. I had four kids, plus all the neighbor kids running in and out of my house. At this particular time, it was summer. We didn't have AC so all the windows were open. Construction trucks were hauling 'fill' dirt down our street at the rate of four trucks an hour.

So, my neighbor ran a finger through the deep dust on one of my book shelves. "Don't you ever dust?"

I just stared her for a moment, then soberly replied, "Don't mess with my dust. When it gets deep enough I'm going to plant marigolds..."

I don't think she ever got over that. But really, it's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?


  1. Hi Anny,

    Thanks for swinging by my blog this week and leaving such an awesome comment. I thought I'd return the favour, and I'm glad my post resonated with you.

    I've been surprised by how many people have gone out of their way to basically say they don't agree with the post. If they don't agree with it, it obviously wasn't written for them. They are welcome to go their merry way and find something that was. :)

    Thanks again for your support!

  2. Yes, I agree. I have the right to be who I am, to think what I think and even to say what I say.