A wise playwright once prompted a class of budding writers to write a list of twenty characteristics of someone they knew very well and turn them into a monologue. I chose my Grandmother. My Gramma has been my muse for many plays, monologues, moments of weakness and conversations about Sex and the City (I always debate buying her the DVD’s for Christmas but then remember she usually watches the TBS versions without the nudity and swearing). My Gramma, who wears black pipe jeans and white dress shirts. My Gramma, who curls her hair and pulls gray strays out of her dark black locks. My Gramma, who taught me to dance to ancient country tunes on a tape deck in her bathroom that still remains on at all times. My Gramma, who I yelled at when I was four because I thought she threw out a smelly sticker I got from the dentist. I told her to shut up, and I still apologize for it.
My Gramma, who I pay 3 dollars a month to speak to on Skype because neither of us have long distance calling.
My Gramma, who works at a Shopper’s Drug Mart and hates it in the winter because her hands get dry and she thinks people will look at her funny; who sometimes covers for the girls at the makeup counter but is embarrassed because she’s much older (which makes the girls laugh). My Gramma, who taught me how to use an eyelash curler when I was little, and who encouraged me to eat chips and drink pop way past my bedtime.
My Gramma who sits out in the sun tanning, who doesn’t have internet, who watches the News channel for all over Ontario just because, who loves to walk and who makes the best PB and J sandwiches in the entire world.
I’m babbling on about my Gramma because these posts are meant to profile women who inspire, and she is that for me. A bit of her follows most of my characters — in their humour or their worry, in their vibrance or their fear. My Gramma, my eternal muse, and one of my best friends.
I thought I’d write this firstly because she means so much to me, but also to show that a muse can be anyone. It doesn’t have to be someone famous, or historically significant, or outrageously political or outgoing, or important to anyone but you. Your muse just has to inspire you.
I love you, Gramma.