The leopard dress that tried to strangle me

I have been thinking a lot about the way different humans process and experience and think about the world.

For example.

How many of you have ever had a leopard dress try to strangle you?

Or would you–perhaps more realistically–think that you had a little trouble taking your leopard-print dress off?


There seems to be at least two types of people in the world.  The kind of people who try to truthfully and exactly relate what is happening.  They are known as the practical folk, the serious folk.  They look at the sun and see a sun.  They look at a street and see a street.  They look at a computer and see a computer.

OK, so it's not a leopard. Please use your imagination.

Then there is the other type.  We look at the sun and see a shining orb burning in the sky, perhaps mischievously attempting to chase renegade clouds away.  Or muttering under his breath (you see, we often call the sun a “he”) “Where are you dear, Moon?  It’s been too long since we crossed paths.”  We see a street and think, “Ahhh, the path of life!  The path upon which we travel to our adventurous destination, where angels and demons trod.”  We see a computer and name her “Miss Ellie” because, of course, as anyone knows, computers have personalities and ought to be addressed politely.

We, of the second inclination, are often accused of exaggerating by the more steady truthful folks. 

When someone–yes, it could have been me–tried on a leopard-print dress in Target a couple of hours ago–and couldn’t get it off–she suddenly began telling stories in her head.  She suddenly thought perhaps the leopard was strangling her.  And that created peals and peals and peals of quiet laughter that probably embarrassed her more serious reality-telling daughter who was waiting outside the dressing room. 

“What’s happening?” she asked, sighing, because she’s convinced her mom is–well, certainly not a serious reality-telling personage.

“The leopard is attacking me!”  I whispered amidst a fit of giggles.

She sighed.  A long sigh that says she will never, ever, ever, fathom this mother of hers.  (My mom is the same way.  She and her granddaughter take after one another.  They are probably kindred reincarnated souls.  You see?  I can’t just tell a simple story.  I must elaborate.  I must pretend, play, connect words, connect thoughts, connect disparate ideas, put together two seemingly opposing concepts.)

Dorothy clicked her red heels together. "I shall never stop playing, I shall never stop playing, I shall never stop playing..."

I started laughing about this again with so much delight in the hotel room (we are staying in the Landmark Inn in Marquette for two nights while Kiah is a maid-of-honor in her friend’s wedding) that my daughter shook her head and said, “You know, you could go crazy and we would never know.”

That, I am afraid dear reader, sent mama into another peal of laughter.  Life is SO delightful!  Life is filled with mystery and adventure and excitement and joy.

Spiritually mature folks say that we must grow up and let go of the stories of life.  I disagree.  We must, perhaps, let go of our attachment to the stories of life.  If you label something a dress or a leopard–what is important (in my mind, that is)–is that the words and concepts and stories aren’t cemented.  That they aren’t dead.  They are alive and flowing and changing and moving.

That you can make a dress into anything creative you might dream.   That infinite possibility exists in every moment.  That your mind becomes like river-water flowing to the sea.

OK, OK, I suppose our minds could become too flowing.  We all need to agree on a standard of reality in able to converse and write blogs and talk sanely and sensibly. 

I like that a leopard dress can try to strangle you–and it feels like a grand joke, the funniest joke ever told, and yet you know it’s only a dress in Target and, heck, you really don’t like that leopard dress very much even though your daughter thinks you should buy it and wear it to the wedding and she’s a great fashion advisor.  You know the difference between a leopard and a dress, darn it, but one is interpretion is funny, hysterical, delightful and drenched with joy.  The other is…how can I put it politely?…a dress.

My new dress for the wedding. Not that awful leopard. He's back in the jungle. LOL! (It's a joke, folks, a joke, only a joke!)

So, dear readers, of which type are you?  Are you mostly creative and story-telling?  Or do you look at reality very clearly and factually? 

P.S.  And I suspect that most of us are both–each of us probably has both sides in us.  I know that when I’m doing taxes and journal entries I’m one of the most logical practical folks on the planet.  No foolin’ around then! 

Oh, by the way, guess what?  There is a GHOST that haunts the Landmark Inn.  She is a librarian.  If I find her tonight or tomorrow tonight, you’ll be hearing the story.  Just the facts, mind you.  Just the facts.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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59 Responses to The leopard dress that tried to strangle me

  1. Kathy says:

    OK, I can’t help it. I was just looking at the blog again and saw the title and started laughing again. Life so amuses me!

  2. holessence says:

    Oh, what a FUN post! As a Libra (we’re all about balance), I tend to weave a creative story on top of a factual foundation 🙂

  3. Susan Derozier says:

    Kathy – I can only sit here grinning as I imagine you and that dress battling in the dressing room! (Amidst the peals of laughter sounding without) Truly, your mind is a place I LOVE to visit! Take me there at will and let the fun begin. Enjoy the wedding in your new dress!

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad that you enjoyed this, Susan. Truly, this has struck my funny bone. And–OK–we both know it–my mind is a strange place to visit. It refuses to be compliant, except when socially necessary. I am actually sitting in the bar right now sipping a glass of wine before finding a place for dinner. I am in a remote corner with Miss Ellie. The wedding party has just arrived but no one has spotted me–except Kiah. I am trying to be invisible. Do you think Thai food would be good for dinner?

      • Susan Derozier says:

        Thai food would be excellent. In fact, I just finished MY leftover Thai meal. As you look forward to dinner, I am waiting for the President’s address and then the PACKER game!!!! Having grown up in Green Bay, this will be a treat! Enjoy your evening!

  4. Dawn says:

    I got trapped in a dress once. Alone in a dressing room…could NOT get out of it. I was not laughing. I was trying to figure out how to get help with the least amount of embarrassment! But you, you turn it all into an amusing story! Thanks for sharing. Hope you meet the librarian ghost!

    • Kathy says:

      Those darn dresses, Dawn, they can try to swallow us alive!! We have two options when they try to take us over. A) we get furious or scared (I know, I’ve been there) or we B) see the funny side. Sometimes both at the same time!

  5. My heart definitely tells me to be free-spirited and creative, but that darn head of mine keeps pulling me back out of the clouds…. it’s a constant struggle! Curious to hear more about this ghost… 😉

  6. Kathy…you are always so creative and hysterical in your story-telling….it is contagious, even though I have to admit I am a bit more, as you probably already know I would have answered!!….After all I am a Quality Manager and Scientist. However I will say that the curious in me makes me love Curious George and /Snoopy…never a dull moment.

    I wonder if someone, probably Laurie can relate all this to my sign, Pisces….


    PS…my new bras attack me…I get all tangled….LOL….it’s like a straight jacket….already I can here the jokes coming…

    • Kathy says:

      You made me laugh out loud, Kim! Those darn bras! You try making them cooperate and they are worse than leopards. Leopard bras! OK, I think I’m getting slap-happy…you know, next to scientists, I think we accountant-types can be equally rational and logical. People can never figure out how I can be both. (And P.S. I’ve seen both sides of you peeking through…)

  7. I would have loved to be the one waiting outside that dressing room, I would have laughed with you 🙂
    That sand caslte is A M A Z I N G !!!!!!

    I think you made the right dress decision, I like this one better than any leopard print dress. But why are you not in it?? I’ll be waiting for a picture of you modelling it.

    • Kathy says:

      No, no, no, you don’t need to see me IN it, lol. Let’s just leave it that Kiah said it looked OK. I trust her implicitely. Except for that leopard-print dress. tee hee…

      • Aww, I’m so sad now, I was really hoping you would model it for us.
        But you do have me curious about that leopard print dress…. I just might go to Target and see if I can find it 😉

  8. Susan D says:

    I laughed so hard over your leopard dress adventure, and then Round 2 of the chortles arose upon reading about yours and Miss Ellie’s remote (surreptitious even?) corner of the bar. Hahaha…. cracking up. You said only that Kiah spotted you. I hope she smiled or gave you a gracious little wave, and not an eye rolling. LOL … You know which “type” am I …. in my natural habitat with the leopard dresses attempting stranglings. When I have to look at reality factually and clearly, I certainly can, but only because the creative side loves to be an actress. Have fun, Sweetie!

    • Kathy says:

      I am so glad that we know one another in person, Susan D. You laugh as hard and as much as I do. Maybe more??? We have enjoyed many a laugh together and I hope we laugh many more times in the future. **enjoyed the emails tonight** You crack me up. Kiah suggested that you and I have the same sense of humor… ha ha, girlfriend!

  9. Brenda Hardie says:

    Oh my goodness Kathy! How funny! I can just see you laughing like crazy while struggling to fend off the dang leopard! 😀 And I can see Kiah trying to escape your crazy laughter while rolling her eyes…lol My kids would be the same way! Although, as much I hope to be the creative soul who loves the storytelling, maybe I’m more the serious, rather predictable sort. I’m thinking about a time in this past year when I was shopping with my sister in Sam’s Club. She went to get butter, you know the “I can’t believe it’s not butter” butter and broke into song! Singing the song from the commercial “Turn the tub around” to the tune of Gloria Estefan’s “Turn the beat around”…LOL I about died on the spot!! hahahaha the place was crowded and everyone around us either broke into song with her (good sports!) or busted out laughing. It was hilarious..she even did the little dance moves like in the commercial! But alas, I was the one rolling my eyes…a real stick in the mud. I must have lost my funny bone somewhere along the way…hopefully it’s not too late to find it. Maybe if you meet the librarian she will know where I can look for it! 😀
    Be sure to have Kiah take a picture of you wearing the dress…I bet you will be a vision of loveliness!

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, guess what? I may have had the same reaction as you! I am really–usually–quite quiet with my strange sense of humor. In fact, the person two dressing rooms down probably never even heard the laughter. It was only directed toward Kiah and me. There were giggles going on, but they were quiet giggles. Socially-acceptable guffaws that even the mice nodded in approval. Well, it’s almost bedtime here. I’m hoping the librarian makes an appearance. If not in person–dreams would be acceptable. 🙂

  10. Carla says:

    YOu could go crazy and we’d never know it. Well, count your blessings daughter! What a great story, Kathy.

  11. Heather says:

    I am probably much more the “actual” reality type, but I do enjoy a whimsical fit of hilarity. I might be a square when it comes to imagination, but I like to fully indulge my childish side occasionally. Not too long ago some friends and I got out a few balloons and played “don’t let the balloon touch the floor.” Life is too fun and (and sometimes too serious) to be serious all the time! Glad you made it safely out of the dress, and I agree: I was hoping you would show us the attacker, at least 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Heather, I like your description of that whimsical fit of hilarity. Aren’t they the best? Not letting the balloon touch the ground sounds like a fine game. I probably was too hard on my dear daughter here, too, although she just smiled when she read this. 86.5% of the time she has a twinkle in her eye at mama’s antics and sometimes–yes, sometimes–she joins in. I suspect you would be the same way!

  12. Martha Bergin says:

    Hi Kathy! This is a fun, philosophical blog! Soooooooo tired right now, but sure enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Martha, don’t you love it when life shows us a philosophical AND funny message simultaneously? I liked that better than when it’s challenging and philosophical. Smile…glad you enjoyed…it’s fun to share laughter with folks like you.

  13. Colleen says:

    Kathy, I just love you! And will be smiling for the rest of the night with this one.

    I used to have one of those quirky little fridge magnets that made me laugh but I secretly related to: “I live in another dimension but have a summer home in reality”. Hoping at this point it’s more like a 6 month stay in each place, in a good year!

    • Kathy says:

      OK, Colleen, that is a great one! Yep…you’ve described it exactly, especially the part of hoping we’re living six months in both places. I like it when we can be both–calm, rational, able to be in the real world AND able to indulge in the mind’s amazing potential. I love you, too!

      • Colleen says:

        Kathy, your leopard is on the run! He’s made it as far as California and our local target store, where he took up company with the lady who lives below us. To make a long story short, we met in the parking lot, exchanged hellos, made small talk about weather, admired her dress, animal print (maybe leopard!), came from Target (no kidding!!)….. could it be one and the same? Me, grinning like a fool, trying hard to keep giggles and images of strangling leopards from Michigan at bay. She, wondering if the woman upstairs has lost her mind. Maybe she has 🙂

        • Kathy says:

          I love how life shows us that it’s really only a dream–that we’re all in an interconnected dream–where your neighbor in California can show up wearing the same (let’s assume it’s the same) leopard dress from a blog you just read. I think the Universe is nudging us to realize that it’s all just One if we just realize it… Don’t you think so, too?

  14. Elisa's Spot says:

    giggling so hard I have rivers of tears pouring down my face!!! (ok so the corners of my eyes are moist and swiping at them isn’t drying them) 😛

    • Kathy says:

      Ah ha, Elisa, you’re one of us! A river of tears rolling down your face when it really was only moisture at the corners. **yep, you got it, girl.** I even exaggerated when writing this post and had to go back and correct it, not to leave an inaccurate impression, lol. At first I said that I laughed peals of laughter in the dressing room. That was my imagination. That was what I was doing in my head. In physical reality I was laughing very softly. But it wasn’t an exaggeration–in my head I was laughing so hard the whole mall heard it.

  15. Elle says:

    I am mostly practical. I don’t think it would ever occur to me to think a leopard was trying to choke me…unless of course there was a leopard trying to choke me…

    I love the way you tell a story though. The simple things you make so wonderful.

    • Kathy says:

      Elle, I absolutely adore practical folks (after all, part of me is really practical, you wouldn’t believe it!) I am glad you like these stories. It’s so fun when stories appear, almost invited, and it’s especially fun when they turn out to be funny.

  16. Robin says:

    Such a fun post! I love it. 🙂

    I am both. A chameleon of sorts. I am practical by day and playful by night. Or the other way around. Or a little of both at the same time. (I think these things skip a generation. I suspect one, if not both, of my granddaughters are not nearly as practical as their father, my oldest son. Or their mother, for that matter.) I have not found a good way to express my more crazy, playful side on my blog, although I do hope it shows up occasionally.

    I bet you look beautiful in that dress. And it won’t strangle you either.

    • Kathy says:

      “I am both. A chameleon of sorts.” Yes, Robin! I love it when we can find both in our personality. Don’t you think it’s often REQUIRED that personality traits skip a generation? That’s so we can learn to deeply honor the opposite of what we project. Maybe? Glad you enjoyed this.

  17. Karma says:

    I’m glad you have this delightful sense of humor and creativity. That’s what makes your blog so much fun to read! My daughters and I regularly joke about inanimate objects attacking us and creating imaginary conversations that happen among our pets. My husband regularly spins outrageously exaggerated yarns (often in a similarly outrageous accent) simply to make the rest of us laugh. That must make us a very silly family, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Kathy says:

      OK, Karma, what was the last inanimate object which attacked you? Creative minds are dying to know! (OK, not DYING to know, but you get the gist, lol.) I would like hanging out with you guys. You sound like my kind of people! Barry and I love to play word games. We’re always entertaining each other by using words in new and creative ways. Funny…the way people chose to have fun…

  18. Barb says:

    I’m still stuck on the Leopard attacking you – in Target of all places!

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, you wouldn’t have believed it! Here you are in a dressing room, in what you think is a SAFE place, and ohmygoodness a jungle creature leaps through the closed doors and attempts strangulation! How could this happen in a logical rational world????

  19. Reggie says:

    Giggling – I would definitely have the second inclination, Kathy! I think it is much more fun to treat ‘the facts’ as a nudge towards the creative side, whether it is humorous, peculiar, thought-provoking, insightful or just plain silly. 🙂 I think one gets so much more out of life.

    Mind you, when it comes to finances, the law and taxes, I am also definitely of the first ‘let’s stick rigorously to the facts’ inclination! Ain’t no messing with the receiver of revenue! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Yep, Reggie, sounds like you are definitely both. You just have to nudge those facts. Unless of course they are journal entries and taxes and legal mumbo jumbo. Errr, I mean “the law”. Guess we have to ascertain when nudging is appropriate. But, gosh, life is really fun after the facts have been nudged into something creative.

  20. Marianne says:

    This is so funny, Kathy. I was giggling right along with you as I could imagine the scenario with the dress and Kiah. Thanks for the laugh, I needed that.

    • Kathy says:

      Marianne, so glad this started your day with a tickle on your funny bone. After last week’s medical challenges with Barry, this dress scenario “broke the ice” and I smiled for at least two days afterward. So glad we can turn things around at times and see life in its happier vein.

  21. Kathy I am of the type that could get strangled by a leopard skinned dress in a change room. I was always kind of disappointed with math because there was only ONE correct answer and I always found several possibilities that I thought would each do very well. Love your story!!! Enjoy the wedding.

    • Kathy says:

      Terrill, thank you so much for stopping by. I grinned from ear-to-ear seeing you visit and hearing that you, too, could be strangled by–maybe–that VERY SAME leopard in Target! You might not want to try on that dress. LOL!

  22. GEORGIA MOM says:


    • Kathy says:

      Hi Georgia Mom. OK, you want to know the bookstore secret? She kept me out of a bookstore because there was none nearby! (And I planned to go to the bookstore downtown later in the evening, so she was safe.) She did a good job helping with the dress selection. Glad you like it!

  23. Barbara Rodgers says:

    That’s some pretty shocking wall paper in your hotel room! (I think I’d have to keep my eyes closed all the time in there to keep my eyes from spazzing out!) I’m a dreamer, but I don’t give voice to my stories and wandering thoughts as often or as delightfully as you do!

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, Barbara, I didn’t even NOTICE the wallpaper in the room! I guess you would have had to glimpse the larger decorating scheme. It was actually very old-fashioned and tasteful. It felt like you were transported back to the early 1900’s. It was quite lovely. I have a lot of photos, only very little time to share right now. The “ghost story” might take too much time to craft in a way that makes sense. Might have to shelf that for now. Or maybe not. Hope you have a great week!

  24. Cindy Lou says:

    Love, love, love this tale…..and Kiah’s comment about not knowing if you were to go crazy! :}

  25. Val says:

    I love this post, Kathy. As for me – I’m a bit of both but I veer more towards your side. Saw the sun trying to come through the clouds this afternoon and I pulled, and pulled, and pulled and d’you know – it came further out and got so bright I had to look away! “There!” it said, “I told you you’d do that!”

  26. Pingback: Don’t be scared… « Lake Superior Spirit

  27. dearrosie says:

    What a great story about trying on a dress in Target.
    I like the dress you wore to the wedding, but agree with Barbara that I do not like the wallpaper.

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