Saturday, July 4, 2009

In Pursuit of Happiness

The One Minute Writer's writing prompt today was 'Independence'. The task was to write for one minute on something from which you would like to gain independence. Turned out I had more than a minute's worth to say on the topic.

Without further ado:

My Declaration of Independence from Societal Ideals

We hold these truths to be self evident - that all men and women are created equal. As such, it should hold that neither the worth of an individual nor the amount of respect they deserve is determined by the size of their waist, the size of their bank account, or the number of candles on their last birthday cake.

Furthermore, as a woman, the value of my thoughts and opinions are not in any way related to my ability to be deemed attractive by middle class white males (who tend to set the standards) or any males, or, for that matter, anyone at all. This quality is often referred to by an adjective that begins with an 'f' and ends with 'ability'. Should I need to again make reference to it, I shall refer to it as fability. Because I'm also declaring the right to make up words as I go along if it so suits my personal pursuit of happiness.

And I have the right to pursue happiness.

I have the right to wear sleeveless tops and dresses, even if I do not have guns that resemble those of our first lady. Even if I have something that more resembles pillows than guns, I have the right to bare them without apology. Same goes double for shorts. Maybe a little more than double.


It doesn't make me in any way less.

The house I live in - the neighborhood I live in are not reflections of me. You can't know anything about me just by knowing my address. Am I more worthwhile if I live in a more affluent neighborhood? Am I trash if I live in one that is less affluent? The answer to both is a resounding, "NO!" It's just a house. It doesn't say anything about me. It's where I keep my stuff.

And it's just stuff!

He who dies with the most stuff, still dies.

The age issue points us right back to fability (it would've been a shame to coin such a fine word and never use it again, no?). Does my worth decrease as my perceived fability decreases? Certainly society points us in that direction. A gray hair? For heaven's sake, cover it, lest someone think you've left your twenties behind! Wrinkles? Avoid or hide them at all costs! Make the world think you're at least a decade younger! Sagging boobs? Well, hoist those puppies up, wouldja? Have a surgeon hoist 'em up, better yet. If people see you for who you actually are, you will cease to be relevant!

I declare independence from this train of thought!

All men are created equal. That includes (but is in no way limited to) those of us who, for a reason (or two, or three) have outlived our fability. Fability has nothing to do with worth. It has nothing to do with respect. Happiness is worth pursuing. Perceived fability is not.

Give me Liberty, or give me - a candy bar.

I deserve one, for Pete's sake.

So do you.


Macey said...

Great post, again! I love the new word, fability. : )
Also, the whole sagging boobs things: they're a badge of honor as a mom and as someone who has lived past the fability stage! :)
Love you mommakin and your pillow arms. Mine are more like michelin tires. : )

Housewife Savant said...

Tammy, Tammy, how do I love thee?

I want indepedence from these thoughts too.

What a well-written post! Brilliant thoughts. I love this.

Claudya Martinez said...

You know what is a reflection of you? Your writing and I adore you for it.

Please print the Declaration because I want to be the first to put my big ol' John Hancock on it.

Happy 4th! You rock.

Unknown said...

Tammy, well done! Let Freedom Ring!

Sandy said...

Tammy, you are just THE best! The best writer, the best thinker, the best communicator. I want independence from these thoughts too and I believe I'm getting there! Thanks for the incenstives.

Carma Sez said...

Brilliant! The whole aging thing has been on my mind a lot lately. It seems that once you reach a certain age in our country people just look through you or past you. And lots of luck getting a job competing against twenty year olds with non-droopy eyes and perfect noses...

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

HA! I loved this writing prompt!!

Loved the whole arm like pillows. :)

Here from SITS!!

the girl with the pink teacup said...

Tammy, you've got fability in spades. Just sayin'. Besides, we all know that the most important sex organ is the brain, and lordy, you've got one of the most f-able brains around! Especially since it cooked up the word 'fability' :)

Women of all ages and life stages want independence from these thoughts - and this delicious declaration gives us permission to be free. Thank you, lovely lady.

Melissa B. said...

Amen, Sister! I declared the right the Bare Arms a while ago, and feel quite liberated. Oh, and about fability...when I hang out in my old DC neighborhood (which has a majority black population), I am MUCH more appreciated for my fabulous curves. Fie on all those middle-class, middle-aged white men!

Debbie said...

You go, girl! And I am sticking with my sleeveless shirts for as long as me and my flabby arms want to:)

FranticMommy said...

This absolutely ROCKS! Great post Tammy!

Anonymous said...

'he who dies with the most stuff still dies'

Stopping by bc you commented right above me at sits today!

Gibby said...


Where do I sign??