Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 4: The Ball

     Yesterday I shared the first part of this story in Embracing the Cinderella in Me, the third day of my 31 Day Series:  Welcome to My Mess.  You can go ahead and read it.  I'll wait.
     The story continues:
     I was so excited about the Beauty Pageant.  I spent the afternoon busily planning my outfits.  I decided to wear what I thought was a beautiful white dress I had gotten for my First Communion at age seven.  Five years later, I am embarrassed to say, it still fit.  The dress had just become fashionably shorter.  Looking back, it certainly did not fit the ball gown idea.  For the swim suit competition, I went with my favorite bathing suit.  As for the talent portion, I had that nailed.  I had just completed my dance recital.  I planned to tap dance.  I even had a pink fringe flapper style costume to wear.  I am sure that whatever you can imagine does not begin to touch the reality of that costume.  The crowning glory of my preparations was added by my mother.  She tied my pin straight hair up in knotted rags to make spit curls.  No really, SPIT curls.  That night, I barely slept.  I just hoped I wouldn't be awful.  I had knots on my head and knots in my stomach.
     The day of the pageant was beautiful and sunny.  I nervously dabbed my mother's Heaven Scent perfume behind my ears and walked down the block to Anne's house.
     Anne had decorated the patio with crepe paper streamers.  Her mother had given her permission to cut some roses.  The roses were nestled in water but tied together with a ribbon for the lucky winner.  Her backyard looked wonderful.  I surveyed it with a tremulous sigh.
     Anne and I were surprised when we heard that there were to be only four competitors.    Cathy and Suzie told us that all of the other girls in the neighborhood were busy.  Anne and I remained clueless.  The three judges took their places in lawn chairs.  Thanks to Anne, they even had a side table to put their lemonade on and a large plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  Finally the big moment had arrived.
     The first competition was the swim suit competition.  We had all worn our bathing suits under our clothes, so we were ready.  Cathy and Suzie were in it to win it.  They had thought to bring fancy sandals.  Anne quickly grabbed a pair from her closet.  I had foolishly not considered my feet.  I reluctantly slipped into the rubbery elegance of my flip flops.  Each of us strolled down the wooden ramp, spun and walked as gracefully as we could.  The other girls shoes musically click, click, clicked. Mine feet squashed flip, flip, flip.
     Next came the talent competition.  Cathy and Suzie sang.  I did not get to hear Cathy, but I heard Suzie.  Suzie wasn't as good a singer as she thought she was.  Anne on the other hand, played the violin.  I was pretty impressed.  Violins can be screechy, but Anne managed to play something recognizable.  Then it was my turn.  I didn't have music, but I flew through my recital routine.  My tap shoes rang out on the flagstone.  There may even have been a few sparks.  I made a few false steps but I was hopeful that in all of the noise, they wouldn't be noticed.
     The judges nodded appreciatively at each act, made notes, drank their lemonade and crunched on the cookies.  They whispered back and forth a few times.
My brother's and I.  That is THE dress I wore for the Pageant.
     Finally, we were ready for the ball gowns.  Cathy and Suzie had long dresses from a wedding they had attended.  They looked beautiful.  Anne had on a pretty easter dress.  I wore my old white dress.  My hair was crazy looking from all of the tap dancing.  Once again, we walked down the wooden runway.  This time each of us answered a question.  Time has completely erased the question from my mind, but I am sure that our responses involved world peace and getting along with others.
     We, girls, had done all that we could.  Cathy and Suzie smiled smugly at each other.  It was now up to the judges.
     A mess was about to ensue.  Only one of us could see what would happen next..  Join me tomorrow, as I share the conclusion of Embracing the Cinderella in Me.
    Updated:  Here is the conclusion:  Midnight
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