Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Time I Won 'The Ugly Pageant'

Just a few weeks after our high school graduation, our parents shipped my cousin/best friend (I've got to come up with a name for that- fousin, criend, hmm..) Markee and me to Palmyra, New York. Just as it seemed then, it remains one of the best decisions I've ever made. We were both well into our 18th year of life, and felt like we had the world on a string, and we thought we knew everything. In retrospect we were such babies, so young, so naive, and our every decision was based 100% on boys. But we didn't know, and we didn't care. It was the time of our lives. We had no rules, no regulations, no commitments or time constraints, and aside from some creepy late-night prank calls, we had no problems. We also had no fear of rejection, no real sense of decency, and so when somebody suggested we enter an ugly pageant, we didn't even think twice.

You see, I'd had a history of being in pageants. When I was a junior in high school, just 2 short years earlier, I heard that one of my greatest female rivals (a senior at the time) had entered a beauty pageant that offered college scholarships. I was, as I usually was of her, quite jealous, and to be honest, a little relieved when she didn't win. A year after her pageant, when I was finally a senior, (which you had to be to enter the pageant) I entered myself. My entering had very little to do with the scholarships (I actually never even cashed in my winnings for the scholarship money...PITIFUL!) and a whole lot to do with the fact that I was currently dating said rival's ex-boyfriend, and I really wanted to do better in the pageant than she had the previous year. Oh the petty trials of youth. Anyway, the point of this tangent was that I had pageant experience, be it totally different pageant experience than would be expected of me at the upcoming 'Ugly Pageant', but experience nonetheless.

The day finally arrived and 11 other girls and I found ourselves huddled in several hotel bathrooms applying all sort of hideousness in forms of extra moles, mismatched clothing, in and some (brave) cases even some extra padding was in order. I quickly noticed that everybody else was using way more makeup than I was, and their clothes were much more flamboyant than mine. In fact, the only bit of makeup I used was a little mascara and I only used it to connect my eyebrows, to which I credit my win.

The pageant itself was a pure work of art. We all walked in to 'I'm Bringin' Sexy Back', and we were, and we did. We were each asked a question and expected to answer it terribly. And then our fate was left in the hands of some of the classiest people I knew. The judges were beautiful, stylish women, each somewhere around 55 years old, and I think they were appalled. Lucky for us they were also completely entertained and in addition to my uni-brow, I also owe them for my title of

'Miss Ugly 2006'

It was one of my finest moments, because instead of applying gross amounts of makeup in order to win the ugly pageant, I just simply didn't apply any at all. BAM!!

One year later, when Collin and I were engaged, a couple of my brothers insisted that he see the video of the ugly pageant before he agreed to marry me. I didn't protest, in fact, I think I pushed 'play', because, well, a win is a win, no matter how small. And just as I give credit to my uni-brow for the win, I give credit to watching that video for my happy marriage, because I can guarantee that though it's been close on some days, Collin has never seen me look as ugly as I looked that night.

And there you have it. My sweet, sweet victory in a nut shell. And what's a good story without a picture to go along? At the risk of losing all of my 11 aforementioned friends, I now present to you the 2006 Ugly Pageant contestants. I love you girls!!

Happy Thursday!