We were unsuspectingly flipping through the channels last night, unwinding after a busy Father's Day weekend when - BAM! - I got blindsided. There they were, staring right back at me, just daring me to change the channel...all 50 candidates vying for the crown of Miss USA 2011. No! Not again! I had things to do and productivity was calling my name. Jared lasted a mere ten minutes and couldn't take it anymore but there I sat, in a trance-like state for the next two hours. Perhaps it was the blindingly white teeth, the sparkly dresses, the horrible emcee commentary or the "did she really just answer that question that way?" but I couldn't change the channel.
I've always had this type of relationship with Miss USA. When I was in elementary school, I'd host viewing parties, complete with our own talent and evening wear competitions. I'd put all my hopes in my favorite Miss winning the crown at the end (almost always rooting for our girl from the Lone Star State). I'd practice the walk - hips thrust forward, sway, sway - the wave, the poise. I'd get excited every year and couldn't wait for that one magical evening of glamour.
But in all of my enjoyment of the pageant, I never actually wanted to be Miss USA. I realized early on that:
A) I liked cheeseburgers too much to try to be that skinny
B) I have the gracefulness of a rhinoceros
C) My fine hair would most likely fall out with all of that teasing and hairspray
D) I liked rolling around in the dirt and playing WWF Wrestling on the trampoline with my big brother too much - pageant girls don't have bruises and scraped knees.
and E) I had no desire for my skin to be the color of a sweet potato.
So as I saw the crowning of Miss California (by the way, Texas was robbed of the title!), a small bit of terror crept into my heart. The older my daughter gets, the more I realize she is going to be a girly-girl. I know, I know - she's only 10 1/2 months old. But I kid you not, I can already see the pink princess spewing on the walls of my future. Harper is very dainty, she won't touch a finger food that will leave her messy, she LOVES her baby dolls, she gravitates towards pink and purple and she crosses her legs when she drinks her bottle. All of this is ingrained within her being and her delicate nature is becoming more and more apparent. The realization hit me that she could end up wanting to be one of those girls with the fake smile plastered across her face.
Suddenly, my future flashed before my eyes - sitting in the audience of an Econo-Lodge Hotel Conference Room, wearing my screen printed t-shirt with Harper's glamour shot, making kissy facials as Harps pranced on the stage and yelling at the top of my lungs "WORK IT GIRLFRIEND!!!!" Yes, I've seen Toddlers and Tiaras and it scares the crap out of me. If this is my future, you might find me curled up in a corner in the fetal position, rocking back and forth as I whisper, "jazz hands, jazz hands, jazz hands.....". I am not made to be a stage mom.
So perhaps last night was the last of my Miss USA Pageant watching days. If she doesn't see it, she can't know it exists right? Oh, I can't do that. It is, somewhat, a right of passage for a little girl. So I'll compromise. As we watch Miss USA, casting our votes for our favorites, I'll let Harper know that one day she, too, can wear a sparkly dress....just as long as its for her United States Presidential Inauguration. Okay, Miss President???