No, this will not be an ode to The Sound of Music. It won’t even be an ode to Julie Andrews, despite the fact that I find her a lot more inspirational overall than any Rogers and Hammerstein musical. This is more about looking around and opening up my own private box of awesome and encouraging all of you to do the same.
There’s a lot in the world to be angry about, or depressed about. Heck, I’ve merrily pointed some of them out to you. I will again. There’s a lot to be done before the world can accept a bunch of fat, happy women out being amazing without spontaneously combusting.
But if we wait for all of them to be ready, not one of us will enjoy our fat happitude, and that would be just plain stupid and wasteful of us. We are not stupid. We are not… well, not all of us are wasteful. We certainly aren’t going to waste our own fabulous just because there are some deeply confused people out there who wring their hands in anguish at the thought of our existence, let alone our refusal to wallow in the shame they try to heap on us.
So every once in a while I like to get all Little Mary Sunshine on their cabooses and celebrate cool stuff that I enjoy. In public. With a big ol’ grin on my face. What things might these be? I’m so glad you asked.
1: I wear bright colors. No, I will not resign myself to the darker end of neutral for the comfort of others. I will damn well wear all the orange and purple and red and turquoise I like. Why? Because I love them and look fabulous in them.
2: I wear hats and extravagant jewelry. See above for a reason. I will not make myself invisible so that some folks lacking in all ability to appreciate fabulous when they see it won’t be offended. Besides, my hats seem to bring smiles to a lot of faces, especially on small children who haven’t yet learned to be afraid of sartorial splendor.
3: I speak up when I have something to say. And because I do that, a lot of people seem to look forward to seeing me. What? Most of what I have to say is either helpful or funny, and it’s often both. When it’s angry, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m not doing it for my own pleasure, or that of the person I’m angry with. But I will be fair. And I will not back down.
4: I eat in public. Whether what I’m in the mood for is salad or ice cream, I refuse to concern myself with what others think of what I’ve ordered or added to my shopping cart. I pick according to my appetite, my mood, and my personal tastes. I am not responsible for what someone else thinks of what I’m eating, and nobody can make me accept that responsibility.
5: I dance when the opportunity presents itself and my knees will cooperate. Sometimes my knees aren’t that happy to dance. Bad knees run in my mother’s side of the family and seem to have finally caught up with me, alas. Then again, one of my brothers got stuck with the knee thing in his teens when he was a fairly skinny thing. But if there’s music and my knees are having a good day, I don’t care if someone else doesn’t want to see me wiggle my fat butt on the dance floor. I don’t have time to watch them with a critical eye, and if they have time to worry about my aesthetic appearance while dancing, I feel kind of sorry for them. Scratch that, I feel all kinds of sorry for them.
6: I sing out loud. They may say it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, but baby when I pour out those chest notes, it’s just gettin’ started.
There’s crap everywhere. There’s hate in the world. There’s even violence. We need to be aware of it all.
But don’t ever let it stop you from living your life. It’s the only one you’ve got, and there’s no victory in failing to use it for anything.