Sunday, January 31, 2010

There she is....Miss America sort of...

Helloooo? Am I the only one out there who still watches Beauty Contests? Last night was the Miss America Pageant for all 10 of you out there who care. First of all why would TLC be broadcasting the Miss America Pageant? What happened to prime time A list channels carrying an important event such as this? Is it a sign of the times that pageants will become a thing of the past and are not worthy of ABC, CBS or NBC? I have such wonderful memories of beauty pageants. Oh, I never participated in one but the connection goes way way back to the day I was born. I kid you not. My mom had me when she was in her late thirties. I was considered a "miracle" baby. It was a miracle that she had me because she had an established life in Canada with my fifty year old dad, my eighteen year old brother and my fourteen year old sister.  Although I am pro-choice I want to take this opportunity to thank her for being Pro-Life when the rabbit died (they didn't have those little pee pee sticks back then okay). I like to think of my conception and birth as a "gift" rather than a boo boo. When I was born - At the original Mount Sinai Hospital - the nurses would carry me to my mom singing the theme song from the most famous pageant in the world. "Therrrrre she isssssss........Miss Ahhhhmerica". Now I can't figure out why they chose this as my theme song for the following two reasons: 1. I'm a Canadian and 2. I was kind of notsocute as a newborn. My brother, who began a hobby in photography was quick to practice on his new little baby sister. Each and every picture he snapped of me in my first few moments on earth I looked like a grasshopper or more the likeness of a reflection of yourself when you look into the side of a kettle. If you own a kettle, go over to it right now and see what you look like? Pretty scary eh? Here's a bit of pageant trivia for you.

In the 1960s, 85 million viewers tuned in to watch MISS A. Last year, the talent contest attracted a meager 10 million. Sadly, the show has become that washed-up cocktail lounge singer with too much makeup, a drink in one hand, a mike in the other but she insists on clinging to the spotlight until the janitor starts sweeping up. After spending what seemed like endless hours watching the swimsuit, talent and evening gown competitions for the first time since I was a young girl, I had reached a turning point in my life. I could no longer endure the pain.... What was once a tradition to witness the Winner crowned, walk the long runway in her fabulous tiara, tears streaming down her face, mouthing "thank you, thank you, thank you" to the judges that were probably paid off to pick her and then mauled by the other losing contestants while the credits are rolling - I switched the channel. My mother will be very upset with my choice last night. When I was still living at home before my first marriage (husband one - HO) I used to lay my head on her shoulder - watch the show for 2 hours, win the title, get my tiara/ sash and walk up sleepily to my yellow painted room carrying my imaginary three dozen red roses in my arms ....those were the good old days and by the way I won everytime.

Although I once had hopes of at least competing (in my dreams) in a pageant there were always issues to contend with. One of which was that I have no talent. It's not that I didn't try. I convinced my parents to buy me a few items to encourage a possible audition for the show. My first talent apparatus was a hula hoop. I would stand in our backyard next to the rose bushes for an entire afternoon - hula-ing. Do you know how exhausting it is to be a promising hula hooper?

You have to position it around your waist and gyrate your hips while the hoop circles your body without it falling to your ankles and teetering into the rose thorns. When I discovered that Hula Hooping was not considered a viable talent for a beauty pageant I moved on to another talent. Mom bought me a Baton.
Baton twirling was an amazing talent and was something that was recognized by the pageant people. And so, I stood in the same spot as I hula-hooped and tried to twirl. After twirling for almost a week, getting hit in the eye with the rubber end of the baton and dropping it more than catching it the time came to move onto another plan. Singing was not an option. Everyone who knows me can attest to the fact that the only way I'm an acceptable singer is if I sing SO-LOW (so low you can't hear me). My last hope was tap dancing. I cannot tell you how much I loved TAPPERS. I was so mesmerized by tap shoes I just had to have a pair. I bugged my mother for months on end to sign me up for lessons but most of all for the tap shoes. Imagine having a pair of shoes that make noise while you walk let alone dance? This is where my parents drew the line and squashed my hopes of being the next Miss America (who lives in Canada and wouldn't win anyways). I know my mother will be reading this and still wondering what the hell I am talking about. She insists that I never asked for tap shoes but I remember whining about this for at least two weeks and practicing the art of tap dancing in front of the T.V. so that my dad couldn't see the program he was watching. I never got the tap shoes and I am still not over it. I had to face facts. I had no talent, my hair was frizzy and my only hope of being in anything on stage was dim. I decided to expand my horizons and try out for theatre instead. Some of you already know this so I am sorry to repeat myself but I did get a role in the musical Oliver. Short stint on broadway. I had one line. ONE LINE!

When the curtain rose, I stood there in full street urchin garb waiting for my cue. I had practiced the line in the mirror for months. "Please Sir, I want some more". That was the line. I tried looking for my parents in the audience but was blinded by the stage lights. Once the cue came from the teacher at stage right - I opened my mouth and nothing came out. I FORGOT THE LINE !!!!!!!!!!  and that was the end of my acting career.

Embarrassed and disappointed that I would never be a star or a pageant winner, I made a last attempt to be on stage. I signed up for a home economics class. In the sewing portion of the course I convinced my parents to purchase me a sewing machine (as an investment).  If I wasn't going to be a contestant in the Miss Anything pageant I was going to sew my way up on stage. And sew I did. I sewed and sewed and sewed. I sewed SO many clothes that I had an entire Summer collection. I outsewed all the other Grade 6 bitches because their parents didn't buy them a machine and they had to wait their turn using the one in the classroom to finish their assignments. There was a method to my madness. I entered my clothing line in the Junior High Fashion Show. ONLY those who could accomplish the unthinkable were chosen. In order to qualify you had to have at least one entry completion with a standard zipper. I was IN ! When the faculty saw that I made over ten items they were impressed. The head of the Home Ec. Department insisted that I distribute my A+ originals to my classmates to wear in the show. UH I don't think so. If those babes thought they would be strutting the catwalk in my creations they were dead wrong. I was going to take the lead role: Designer, Creator, Seamstress and Runway Model with stage presence. The day of the fashion show I came equipped with all my homemade couture originals. I wore each one and walked the walk. The stand out piece from the collection was the red and white gingham number. It had the ZIPPER. If you think hula hooping was hard try sewing in a zipper. All the other pieces either had string or elastic to hold it together. As I rushed back and forth to the dressing area changing into all my dresses it dawned on me....I finally made it onstage, not in a swimsuit, not in an evening gown and not by singing, twirling, or hula-ing - I made it onstage due to a stinkin zipper but I still REALLY wanted a TIARA!

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