Monday, 4 April 2011

Hot pink shorts - Inspiration Monday guest post

Today is the fourth Inspiration Monday and I believe that we have all noticed by now how different the sources of inspiration can be.
I’m delighted that I can host so many wonderful women who gladly share their thoughts about an important topic like inspiration. Not just for us, writers and the ones that are trying to be writers, but also for all the other people in the world.

Today’s guest GoofyGirl writes an interesting blog There is grandeur in this view of life where she shares her positivism and enthusiasm. If you don’t know who I’m talking about you really should pop by her blog and “met her”. I’m sure you’ll all love her because she’s an amazing and down to earth lady and I simply love reading her posts. She makes me smile every time I think of her.

I’m delighted that she accepted my request and wrote this amazing story which I totally love. See it for yourself: 

Starlight asked me to do a post about "inspiration"…. and made the potential mistake of quite kindly let me know she was giving me carte blanche with my own individual interpretation of inspiration. (Yikes! There's an alliteration I wouldn't wanna have to say 5 times fast…) I thought about the topic for all of 10 seconds and knew that while there have been many people that have inspired me, and multiple instances in my life that provided various kinds of inspiration…. only one thing has remained a constant for as far back as I can remember: Other people… every. last. one. of. them.

Have you ever seen the movie DATE NIGHT? It honestly would have been a pretty horrible move had it not been Steve Carell & Tina Fey playing the leads. Those two are phenomenal at improv, and some of the best parts of the movie were fully unscripted moments. I knew Steve Carell was great at this because back in college I would go see him on stage at Chicago's "Second City" comedy club. (Totally dating myself here, eh?) I was impressed then, I'm impressed now. However, their combined comedic talents weren't what made me honestly love this movie, it was this scene that did it for me:

You see, for YEARS certain friends and I have done this. It's always endlessly amusing, even if only just to us…. but more than anything it would force me to just let my already ridiculously goofy imagination run wild. Sometimes, back when I still lived in the city, I would silently ('cause out loud would have probably gotten me in trouble) play the game on my own by heading into the business district downtown and creating impromptu stories for passers by and those on their lunch breaks. Often I'd have a little notebook with me jotting down ideas. (Remember when we took notes in notebooks, on actual paper? I didn't even have a computer in college, just an old Brother® word processor. Hell, I didn't even buy my first CD till halfway through my first semester of college (It was Red Hot Chili Peppers "Freaky Styley" if you really wanna know…) Guess what? I still have ALL those notes (… no idea where that CD went though.)

Every day a human passes by me I take notice. Every article of clothing tells a story. Every piece of jewelry is a sparkling narrative of a new tale. Every gesture is an entire story line. Each moment that they exist in my presence is a new plot that thickens as the seconds tick by. 

I can recall a day last summer as I stood in line at the bank behind a woman dressed in what could only be described as "white trash chic." It was awful. Hot pink shorts made of sweatshirt material so small and tight they basically fit her like a pair of underwear. An over sized BRIGHT yellow t-shirt that was about 5 sizes too big width wise, but seriously lacking in the length department. Her hair hung just past her shoulders in a wavy, dry mess- it looked like it had yet to be brushed that day, let alone washed. On her feet were a pair of sandals that looked to be like something she had stolen off a passed out hippie at Woodstock, only they were clearly brand new since the sticker stating her shoe size was still attached at the back of her left shoe. She stood all of 5' tall, and was of average weight. Her age had to be somewhere in the late 50's- either that or she REALLY needed to start wearing more sunscreen. The skin on her arms and legs looked like leather. There were small white dots that popped up along her forearms where her skin began to break down the pigmentation from so much sun abuse. The purse she had hooked over her arm was a large green leather and canvas bag from Louis Vuitton (I know the fakes from the real ones, that one was real)... and her toenails were painted a deep burgundy color.

I never saw her face, but as each step brought us closer to the bank tellers so we could complete our transactions…. those same tiny & slow steps brought me a story..."her story": She was a wealthy woman from upstate NY, she was here on this island where I live to spend a week with her younger sister, her sister's husband, and her teenage niece at their summer beach house up island where they planned to dine on fresh fish and drink cocktails each night on the back porch at sunset while watching the last tide of the day roll back out to sea.. She arrived the night before via plane, but somehow during her connecting layover her bags were lost. This morning she woke up in her sisters guest room, in one of her much larger sister's nightgowns that was entirely too big for her. As she got up to take a shower she remembered that none of her possessions were with her, and showering would remove the only make up she had… and she was not one to go out without make up. Nor did she want to get her hair wet, there were too many products needed to keep it from becoming a full blown mess… "bed head" would have to do.

Upon wandering into the kitchen for a much needed cup of coffee she found a note on the large kitchen island in the center of the room. It lay there in solitude, the stark white piece of thick card stock with her sister's monogrammed initials across the top in a gold & blue embossed font that all at once looked elegant and tacky. She let the note lay there a bit longer as she grabbed one of the over sized coffee mugs from the glass fronted white wood cabinets that lined the kitchen, found the coffee pot, noted that it was still fresh & hot, and poured herself a cup. 

Wandering back to the center island she perched herself up on one of the 4 stools that bordered one side of it and began to read. Her sister, her sister's husband, and her niece had all gone out. They would be back for lunch, and requested that she make herself at home. The woman laughed to herself, and looked down at the oversized nightgown she was wearing. In the distance a *buzzzz* was heard. The clothes dryer had just finished. The woman finished the last few sips of her coffee and headed towards the laundry room. 

She flicked on the light in the laundry room which was just off the kitchen, since her sister wasn't a fan of using stairs and insisted when the house was built that everything be accessible from the kitchen. That explained the odd layout of the house, and the fact that it was only one story. It also explained, the woman would think to herself, why her sister was so hefty. She reached into the dryer and pulled out some clothes, determined to find something clean to wear today. The first item was a pair of jeans. She held them up and realized that unless she wanted to spend the day with a rope tied around her waist to hold them up, she'd keep looking. The next item was a bright yellow t-shirt. The woman pulled the nightgown over her head and replaced it with the truly offensively hued t-shirt, all the while giggling. The very next thing she grabbed was obviously an item belonging to her beautiful niece, a pair of very short hot pink shorts that really should not be worn by the woman… but she put them on anyway… not really caring.

Back in the guest room the woman carefully re-added all her jewelry, cleaned up a bit of her smudged make-up from around her eyes, hooked her new Louis Vuitton purse over her arm, then eyed the heels she had worn in the plane, shrugged, and left them on the floor as she quickened her pace towards the front door. 

Barefoot she wandered the ½ mile down the dirt road back to the main road, and stuck out her thumb as a car went by. Three cars later she was given a ride to the next town over where she bought the first pair of sandals she could find. The choices were slim for her tiny feet, so she settled on an ugly, but comfortable, pair of sandals. 

On the way out of the store she dug around in her purse for her checkbook, and wandered over to the bank that she had opened an account at last summer when she came to visit her sister. She didn't have an ATM card, so she just wrote herself a check for $600 and went to go cash it in hopes of finding some better clothes at a few of the shops here in town. 

As she stood in line, waiting patiently for her turn, she could feel the eyes of the person behind her staring. The reflection in the window opposite them told her that the person behind her was a tall female with what looked to be bright fuchsia streak in her hair… but the woman didn't dare turn around. The bank line move again and she walked up to the open teller to hand them her ID and the check made out to herself……..

********* and THAT is, no joke, the crap that my brain came up with in those 45 seconds that I stood in her presence. For all I know she was just a local woman who wore clothes like that all the time. Maybe she was rushing to the bank from/on her way to the beach and those clothes were just things she threw on for decency? Maybe she was just that tacky, but had great taste in purses? Maybe the purse was stolen? Maybe she found that purse out on the street and brought it in to the nearest business to help find the rightful owner? … the list is endless people! My brain just doesn't stop once it's on a roll.

So you can imagine how much fun I have, and the inspiration I find when I find myself a nice outdoor cafe, or a busy street. My inspiration is everywhere. 


  1. I just re-read my own post.. .and all I can think is "holy crap, I AM bananas!"
    ♥ you Starlight!

  2. THat's awesome! I found myself actually picturing all of it. So awesome!

  3. Maybe she was on the run and she stole those clothes at the laundry mat because her real clothes were coated with blood. It could happen. . .

  4. Cinderita- thanks! It is quite the silly visual isn't it? I'm happy to know you enjoyed it ♥

    Barbara L- you're right... it could happen... and that would have probably made the "story" more interesting (albeit really freakin' scary!)... but since this island I live on only has one functioning laundromat located out at the tiny airport I'm gonna agree with needing to discard the bloody clothes, but the ones she was wearing were "stolen from a car whose owner left the doors unlocked as they ran into the pharmacy to pick up allergy medicine..." ... maybe?

    thanks again Starlight, it was a fun post to write ♥

  5. An amazing post...there are so many stories out there, isn't it?

  6. It is amazing where and how inspiration can strike. Really enjoyed this post.

  7. Wow, what great post. I will definitely check out your blog. Starlight, thanks for turning us on to some great ladies.

  8. y'all are very sweet, thank you for not only reading, but commenting on this post. I love it when I feel like others "get it". I absolutely look forward to (& am already grateful for) all that decide to stop by my blog (& those that already have) and left such awesome comments there on other posts. It really does mean a lot to me. Thank you ♥

  9. I LOVE that scene in date night. It had me cracking up. I love your interpretation of inspiration as well. Great post!

  10. Hey there...I've handed you an award at my accept it...:)

  11. @GoofyGirl - I love your story and I'm really happy that you accepted my request and wrote it.

    @every-one-else - Thanks for commenting, I'm glad that you all liked this story. I won't reply to everyone seperately because your comments were for GoofyGirl and she already replied :)

  12. @GG: someone I knew had "Freaky Styley" on cassette. We played the s%$t outta that thing while driving around town in a powder-blue VW rabbit. :)

    @Starlight: thank you for showcasing the talents of GoofyGirl. She's the bomb!