A few memories of my youth, decidedly painful for me then, are amusing to me now.

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There were about 400 people in my graduating highschool class, and my senior year I was one of maybe 20 girls who made “Beauty Review”. It was the first and only time I ever received such an honor, and since this was in the era when the “Miss America” pageant had a positive connotation, I was pretty excited. Years before, I can remember talking with my mom when she was resting in bed (she battled cancer for five years before her death when I was 9), and she would forecast into the future, telling me and my sister that we were Miss America 1982 and 1984, and we believed her dreams for us. In her eyes, we WERE princesses.

This particular “competition” involved nothing more than walking on a stage in a formal evening gown before a panel of judges and the entire school body. My dress was used–emerald green with a squared neckline, long before the current trend of cleavage peeks in casual wear. I have no real memory of the “competition”, I wasn’t a finalist, but at least it’d be commemorated in our annual that year.

Senior year, I was also our cheerleading captain. Oh, my, I’d freakin’ KILL! for one of my old uniforms (Tad would, too), but that’s another story. The whole concept of cheerleading cracks me up now, and I have to remind myself I was one of “them” when I’m tempted to have disparaging thoughts. It IS a sport, after all. (Ummm, back then, it was no sport. I’m old.)

I was also voted “Most Valuable Cheerleader”, but for the life of me, outside of a girl “earning” a trophy at the Senior Football Dinner, I have no idea what the relevance was. What made me valuable? LOLOL, I was the captain, that’s pretty much it, not much talent involved. Anyway, again, I was looking forward to getting our yearbooks at the end of the year, to see some of these memories preserved in pictures.

Try again.

It was highschool. Someone hated me on the yearbook staff.

Beauty review? There were spots in the yearbook for the entire field, the top finalists and the winner. Instead of including a picture of all of us, the staff used two pictures of the top finalists, even though the captions indicated there were supposed to be pictures of both. Somehow, we counted on those pictures and I have no candid family shots, which I hate because it’d be fun for my kids to see what I looked like.

Cheerleading? Nada, again. I’m the stinkin’ most-valuable-whatever-that-means-cheerleader-captain, and for our senior picture, I’M CUT OUT OF THE PICTURE!! I was on the end, it’s clear someone is cut off, and it’s ME!

I think I was crushed, and thankfully, time has healed any wound that previously existed. I think the scar is on my funny bone, because now this makes me giggle.

But this vast conspiracy didn’t stop in highschool, it followed me to college. This time, I was awarded the title of Derby Day Queen (I am laughing. Out loud. Right now.). All that entailed was my sorority posting a picture of me (along with reps from every other sorority) in strategic places on campus and people would vote. With money. It was, in actuality, a fundraiser for childhood leukemia sponsored by one of the campus fraternities. I won because the weekend of the final “voting”, Theta had our annual parents’ day and someone (not me) thought to pass a jar or something and we got lots of money that day. I “won”. The winner was supposed to have a photo spread in our collegiate annual. The sponsoring frat (in charge of these photos) INSTEAD used the picture of me that was used for the campus voting … AND DIDN’T EVEN GET MY STINKIN’ NAME RIGHT! Correct last name, incorrect first name. And, durn, it was NOT a good hair day and I was looking forward to being photographed for the first time in my life with lights! camera! and action! At least Childhood Leukemia received some dollars for research.

Okay, why this, why now? Is there any relevance to NOW or is it just a lovely stroll down memory lane for Robin? Relieving some thoughts from mind to pensieve…. Is anyone even STILL reading? I cannot imagine that to be the case, so this post will be for me me me (even though, yes, I completed Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” and fully realize “it’s” not about me, but for the moment and for this post, it IS).

Except this has gotten so long, I guess I’ll get to the point later.

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