Yesterday, I got a letter (printed on paper the color and sheen of Pepto Bismol) informing me that my daughter had been chosen to apply for the 2007 National American Miss Pageant. I am SO there…just as soon as I work through a few minor reservations:
Dear National American Miss Pageant folks:
Firstly, I only have one daughter and she is 11 months old. As of now, her English vocabulary consists of ONE word, so for the Interview Portion of the pageant, if it’s not too much to ask, could you could please arrange to have judges who speak one of Nora’s native languages: Latvian or Dolphin? Either that or prepare only questions for her that can be answered with the word “hi.” For example: “Would you like to say anything to your friends and family in the audience?” or “How is your blood pressure right now?” or “What do you think of Zimbabwe’s current inflation rate?”
Secondly, I have no doubt she’ll nail the Poise & Presentation in Formal Wear category because no baby ever looked cuter in a dress than mine. But I worry that while crawling across the stage she’ll have to stop periodically to chew on extension cords, which may hold things up a bit. Would this be a problem?
Thirdly, I have my reservations about getting involved in any program whose literature exceeds my personal exclamation-point-per-inch quota. Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re waiting to hear from us! I need to help my daughter realize the magic of Today’s Girl! so I should Apply today! but I’m kind of busy caulking my shower drain, plus I fear my heart may not be able to tolerate the excitement! Have you considered cutting back on the caffeine?
Nextly, I notice in your letter that you use the phrase “Building Esteem and Growing Confidence® for today’s world.” Tell me: is it confidence you own as a registered trademark or the process of growing it? These are things I need to know.
Thirteenthly, I’m a bit hung up on this portion of the application:
MAKING A DIFFERENCE TOGETHER!
The Pageant Weekend Community Service Project! It’s incredibly fun, easy and rewarding. A full 10% of your pageant score will be awarded to you when you donate a children’s book or stuffed animal on pageant weekend! They will be presented to area organizations including libraries, literacy programs, firefighters and policemen to aid in their work with children. Together we can make a difference in the lives of others!
While I think the donation thing is a terrific idea, I expect slightly more from a Community Service Project. Like one that involves a bit more of the community. And real service. And constitutes an actual project. Call me picky. Unless my kid is giving away one of her own bears or books, I’m not sure it will mean that much to her. Hey, since it’s really going to be my money buying that bear and my gas driving it to the fire station, can you just give ME the 10% worth of points? My self-esteem could use a little boost right now.
Penultimately, by the time my daughter gets to college, I’m afraid that $25,000 in scholarship money isn’t even going to cover her books. Please up the offer to $25,000 in real estate investments and we’re on board.
Finally, of your different age categories – Teen, Jr. Teen, Pre-Teen, Jr. Pre-Teen, and Princess – I figure my daughter comes closest to the last one. My question is: do we get to pick our princess? I have issues with the whole Disney Princess scene so I’d prefer an alternative. Given enough time, I’m sure we could come up with the 20 yards of extra fabric and whale bone to reconstruct this pageant gown worn by Princess Margarita Teresa, National Spanish Miss of 1656.
1) hides/constricts all that unsightly baby fat, 2) limits mobility, thus solving the afore-mentioned extension cord problem, and 3) simply add wheels to the bottom and the whole contraption doubles as a baby walker.
1) low twirl-factor, which from observing other people’s daughters strikes me as an essential Princess activity, 2) we may need special accommodations at the pageant; are you willing to widen some door frames?, and 3) outfit makes the “tip the Princess upside down for a quick sniff to ascertain diaper status” job rather tricky.
Better yet, can my daughter please make an appearance as Princess Leia since we already have the costume? As you can see, she’s been working on pronouncing the long vowels in “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” (or however you say that in Dolphin).
I hope you will be willing to accept our $440 application fee despite our qualms. We can’t wait to hear from you!!!
Queen Regent Julie and Princess Nora