Sunday, September 23, 2007

miss redford usa or how i learned to tolerate a beauty pageant

we had quite the busy day saturday. first we had a baby shower for noel and nancy. from there, the girls and i went straight out to port huron to meet up with molly and crew from camp casey. we were being treated to a girls' night out to support miss angel (a camp counselor) in her bid to become miss michigan usa 2008.

i should have known better than to head out for such a girly-girl event.

to begin with we left the shower later than we should have. i made the wrong turns to get back to the freeway and took at least twice as long as it should have. so we had 20 minutes to travel 63 miles. (i speed, yes, but i don't go that fast!) then i discovered that a large portion of our route would be reduced to one lane.

i had a mini-meltdown. after giving pooka a hard time about reneging on a commitment, i was going to make her miss the event. and it was so late that even if i turned around immediately, we wouldn't make the birthday party, either.

i pulled myself together, resolving that we would have a good time, one way or another. either we would catch up with the group later in the itinerary or we would find my friend who lives in port huron and just hang out and have fun. this resolution was tested again as i missed my exit and had to explore my way to the meeting spot. fortunately, both times i had previously been in port huron were in the same vicinity as our destination, and i did find it.

we arrived at the meeting place just as the group was about to leave. i made pooka strip and put on her 'theatre' wear and we all piled into the limo. we went to the salon (about 4 blocks away), which was reserved for the girls' special night. they got their makeup and nails done, and got their hair styled. they also made signs showing off their support for miss angel. the salon gave each of the girls swag bags, as did camp casey. tiaras and sashes proclaiming each girl to be 'camp casey's angels' were donned. one girl celebrated her birthday saturday and she got even more special treatment. she was dressed as cinderella, complete with glass (ok, plastic) slippers and silver gloves. her toenails were painted as well as fingernails.

the limo took us over to the bluewater bridge for some photo ops, and then we returned to the pizza place for dinner. the girls were so excited to find we had a room all to ourselves with a tv which they controlled! we had salad, pizza, breadsticks, and an impromptu birthday cake. then we were off to the theatre for the pageant.

we had talked about walking, but by the time i was ready to leave, my walking partners had already left--in their cars! so i put my girls in the truck and headed down to the event. i lost sight of our group as i parked and hurried to the building to catch up. wouldn't you know, i was at the wrong entrance and had to lug the baby carrier all the way around the building. i was sweating by the time we found molly with the tickets. we headed upstairs and found seats just as the excitement was starting.

there were 62 representatives from all around the state of michigan. i don't know how they divided them up because some represented cities, others counties, and still others regions. for example: there was a detroit, a motor city, an oakland county, and an east michigan (she was the eventual winner). after the girls introduced themselves, there was an elimination. our sponsor did not make the semifinals. our night was basically done. we only got the chance to wave our signs once. i wanted to leave at that point, since i had no desire to watch a beauty pageant for no reason. when the girls came out in their bikinis, i actually felt a little queasy. it struck me then that i probably shouldn't have brought pooka to an event that seems so shallow and vain, but i did it for the experience. i don't regret it, but i do regret having to sit through the rest of the show.

i tried, i really did, to be respectful and not taint pooka's perception of what was going on. but there was only so much i could take, and after the intermission, my veneer began to crack and my natural snark and intolerance leaked out. fortunately, the woman i was sitting next to held a similar opinion and we got catty together. by the time the 5 finalists answered their 'final question' s, i had pretty much lost all semblence of mercy for these female objects and was outright laughing. asked how she felt after receiving her crown, the winner responded, "out of all the experiences in my life, i have experienced all of them up to this point, and this is the best so far." i buried my head in my hands to stifle my derisive snorts.

there was much hoopla and greetings with miss angel after the show. i was dreading the long drive home. i anticipated that we would get home around 1230. to cap off the evening, as i was headed to the parking lot (i had left the girls with the rest of the group and was going to drive around to pick them up--i was tired of lugging the baby carrier all over God's creation) i was nearly STRUCK by a car! the guy didn't look left as he exited the parking lot. if i hadn't jumped when i did, he'd have run over my leg or more. he wasn't going fast, but i bet it still would have hurt.

i called kisu as soon as i got on the road for home. i was afraid that i would doze off, so we talked the whole way back. it only took about an hour and twenty minutes, but it was still after midnight. we put the girls to bed and i crashed. i was in desperate need of my 'beauty' sleep.