Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 3: Embracing the Cinderella in Me

     If you had to compare your life to a fairytale, which fairytale would you choose and which character would you play?  If you have difficulty sleeping at night and have been tossing and turning on your lumpy mattress, you may relate to the Princess and the Pea.  If you've made some investments that others have laughed at, you may feel a little like Jack and the Beanstalk.  Or maybe, you feel like Cinderella, cooking, cleaning, and unappreciated by anyone else.
     Over the next few days, I would like to share with you a true, slightly modern fairytale.  It involves a contest, some wicked sisters, ball gowns, weeping, and an unexpected hero who rescues not one but two unlikely fair maidens from distress.
     Once upon a time, when I was much younger,  perhaps about twelve years old, I was invited to participate in a beauty pageant.  The invitation did not go out to all the fair maidens in the land.  No, it was an exclusive contest.  There were after all only four of us.
     The Beauty Pageant was the idea of two beautiful sisters, Cathy and Suzie.  Twelve year old Cathy was lovely with light brown hair and flashing brown eyes.  Suzie, a few years younger, had soft blue eyes and long dark brown hair.  Both were pretty girls who thought very highly of themselves.
     One summer morning, the two sisters were arguing about which of them was the prettiest.  Each claimed that she was better looking than her sister.  Not having a magic mirror to consult, they decided to solve the argument once and for all by having a competition.  They determined to compete against one another in a Miss America style contest, complete with talent, bathing suit, ball gown, and question categories.  Points would be awarded  in each area.  They did not have a tiara for the winner, but they did have a silk flower hair comb.  The winner would have bragging rights and be secure in the knowledge that she was indeed the fairest in all the land.  Pretty Creative.
     In order to make it less obvious that the competition was actually between the two of them, the sisters decided to each ask another girl to compete.  Of course, the diabolical sisters had to ask girls that they knew was not as pretty as either of them.  There wasn't any point in asking someone who would be real competition.  Suzie asked a friend of hers named Anne.  Unsuspecting, Anne was very excited and quickly offered her back patio for the competition.  This was a real bonus, because the sisters did not want their mother to know what they were up to.  Anne's backyard had a wooden walkway that led to a beautiful flagstone patio.  There would be shade for the judges and a stage for the contestants.
     Cathy asked me to be in the beauty pageant.  I was rather surprised and flattered when Cathy invited me.  We did not usually hang out together as she ran with a more popular crowd.  Cathy made the Beauty Pageant idea sound like fun and I quickly agreed to join them.  I could picture myself, tiara sparkling with diamonds on my head, roses cradled in my arms, crying and waving at the crowds.   Like Anne, I did not realize either sister's secret motive.
     The enterprising sisters also invited three young men to be judges.  The first two were the dark haired Jones brothers, who were the neighborhood heartthrobs.  They really were very handsome.  The Jones brothers made all of us girls on the bus sigh.  One of the brother's was a year older than Cathy and I.  The other, a year younger.
     The final choice of judge was the sister's biggest mistake.  The girls asked their brother Jack.  You'll remember that Jack's are usually the hero in fairytales.  This Jack was no exception.  Jack was friends with the older of the Jones brothers, also a year older than Cathy and I, and not so easily led as his sister's believed.
     The pageant was set for the next afternoon.  Anne and I were in the middle of a mess, we just didn't know it yet.
     Join me tomorrow, as the fairytale continues...
Update:   The Ball  and Midnight.
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