It's time for mamakat's weekly writing workshop!
1.) For your birthday a sibling has decided to have the first six months of your blog printed and bound. Write a forward for the book.
2.) Write a 26-line poem using all the letters of the alphabet, where the first line starts with the letter "A," the second "B," the third "C," etc., culminating with the final line starting with "Z."(writersdigest.com)
3.) Start your story with, "In retrospect, I wouldn't say it was my best idea." And end it with, "And that's how I attempted to make this world a better place.(writersdigest.com)
4.) What would the truth have done? Write about a time when honesty was NOT the best policy.(writingfix.com)
5.) What made your childhood bearable? Write about it.
I decided to get creative and try prompt #3.
In retrospect, I wouldn't say it was my best idea. I just got so carried away. That's the thing about me: I get carried away. And it always comes around to bite me in the ass.
It all started with the shoes. The ugliest, most unflattering, most insanely comfortable shoes I had ever had the pleasure of placing on my feet. They looked like a cross between crocs and moccasins. Ugly throw-back-to-the-sixties-moccasins hand made on a hippie commune by burnouts who hadn't seen the world clearly since the early seventies.
I found them in a little store called Mama Rosalleti's Shoes. They were called "LZT Shooz", as in "ugliest shoes". Jen dared me to try them on. The had her camera phone out, ready to record my fashion-challenged moment and send it to all of our friends. The sales clerk did not seem offended by this. In fact, she had a tight little smile on her face as she handed me the box marked "size 6". I guess she had seen this happen before. The tight little smile had grown into a full blown grin 20 minutes later when we exited the store; I had two pairs while Jen had one pair for herself, one for her husband, and one pair for each of her 4 year old twins.
From there, things started to snowball. I wore my LZT's everywhere. I got stares, snickers, well meaning fashion tips from complete strangers and friends alike. Until I kicked off a Shoo and dared somebody to try it on. Then, their eyes would glaze over and they'd get a far away, dreamy look on their face. Before demanding to know where they could get a pair! I gave LZT Shooz to everyone for their birthdays, graduations, bat-mitzvahs, Christmas. I was obsessed.
My sister in law came up with the phrase, and before long, we were all saying it: "If everyone on earth had a pair of these Shooz, there would be world peace." I guess I started to believe it.
Here's the other thing about me: when I get carried away, I have a knack for getting others swirled up in the excitement, as well. So when the Chamber of Commerce sponsored a contest entitled "How would you make the world a better place?", I was somehow able to convince them that providing everyone in town with a free pair of LZT Shooz would result in peace, prosperity, and overall warm-fuzziness in our fair haven.
At first, things seemed to be heading that way. Entire families would practically skip down the street with a spring in their step! Elderly ladies suddenly didn't need their walkers! Runners sidelined by plantar fasciitis could resume their marathon training!
I didn't count on the teenagers. Teenagers have a way of sullenly judging the world at large and coloring it with their angst-ridden view. So it was with my beloved Shooz. Nobody who attended the high school would deign to put LZTs on their hormone-replete footsies. (They'd fill the space between thir ears with Taylor Swift, but they wouldn't accept a delightful daylong hug for the feet. Go figure!)
Pretty soon, the junior-high students followed suit. Cries of "lame" and "dorky" followed Shooz-wearing nerds down through grade 7. The tweens were the next to cave. Suddenly, the coolest trend for grades 5 and 6 became social suicide.
To this point, I wasn't concerned. Kids are fickle. Comfort is key. Everyone knows that. Everyone, it seems, except the moms of the teenagers, junior high kids, and tweens.
When the moms stopped wearing them, the dads stopped wearing them. The babies stopped wearing them. The toddlers stopped wearing them. The cries of "lame" and "dorky" were not confined to the schoolyard. Senior citizens gathered up their discarded walkers and canes.
Not everybody abandoned the Shooz. There was a clear sector of the population who strode proudly through town, their feet enveloped in ugly. LZT fans would smile and nod knowingly at each other. Somebody even invented a hand signal: a two handed "i love you" sign stacked one on top of the other, finger to thumb: an L, a Z and a T.
I'm not sure who threw the first shoe. Maybe a disgruntled former believer with sore feet. Maybe a "mean girl". Maybe Stacey London or Clinton Kelly. Whoever it was, they changed things forever. In our little town, that thrown shoe is remembered as if it were assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand!
When the dust finally settled, a strict dress code was enforced in all of the town's schools. Mama Roselleti decided to sell the store and relocate to Florida, as she had considered doing for years. Flashing the "i love you" sign resulted in a $150 ticket within town lines. And the chamber of commerce suspended its "how would you make the world a better place?" contest indefinitely.
The silver lining on all of this was that I was able to buy up the rest of the size 6 LZT Shooz for less than cost. And though my dream of peace, happiness, and prosperity for all mankind was dashed, at least I had happy feet.
And that's how I attempted to make this world a better place.