One size fits all. That is a lie so huge it’s amazing that any company, any religion, any organization, any educational facility, doctor’s, dieticians, or anyone at all dares to claim it. Yet it’s all over the place. The idea that if something works for one person, it will work for all people. I already wrote a long post about how parenting methods are never universally appropriate for all families. After writing that post I was thinking about how often people work from the premise: that what they know to be true will be true for all. I love giving advice. That’s why I have a section dedicated to unsolicited advice. You might think it takes a lot of conceit on my part to think I am wise enough to dispense with opinions and directives for other people. Nah. I give advice knowing that most people aren’t listening to me in the first place. It’s fun. A lot of the time I give ridiculous advice to amuse myself (I will stick by my sock advice for all eternity). But when I give what I hope is truly helpful advice to someone who has asked my opinion, I give what I believe is common sense advice. I try to take the individual into consideration. I have been known to give advice to people that I wouldn’t follow myself, because I am so different from them that what’s appropriate for them is not for me.
I don’t mind labels. I don’t mind being labeled. I don’t mind people trying to fit me into a comfortable mold or into a careful category. If we didn’t generalize and categorize, language would become a dangerous quagmire and every conversation would become a ridiculous game of setting the parameters for being understood all over again. Stereotypes, generalizations, folk perceptions, and pigeon-holed personalities exist because we need a way to understand each other in relation to something outside ourselves. It’s a tool, though, not meant to be used as anything but a guideline.
One size doesn’t fit all. One size never fits all. Pippa reminds me of this every day. She constantly tries out new places to nap. New cushions, new boxes, and every basket she can get into. Penny likes to sleep on our beds or in her funny little kitty tube, that’s it. She doesn’t go for the weird spots. But Pippa likes to try things on and sometimes she just doesn’t fit into the basket. Sometimes she spills over the edges of a box. She does it blissfully. She doesn’t mind that not every nook and cranny can fit a Pippa in it.
I don’t have any great punch line, here. There’s no real moral to this line of thinking. It’s just something I keep noticing-people who don’t fit into the political categories they seem like they’d be most likely to align themselves with, people who surprise you by having ideas you didn’t think them capable of because of fair assumptions made by their other opinions and actions, clothes that say they are the right size but which, when tried on, are wildly at odds with what they claim.
Is it your body that’s different, or the clothes themselves? Does it matter?
I’m just enjoying the words and the thoughts that are coming with them.