Beauty Pageants, Fleur de Lis, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne

Last Saturday, Saratoga Speedway featured car racing andDSCF2104

the Miss Saratoga 2013 Beauty Pageant.

Saratoga Speedway Ltd

Saratoga Speedway Ltd

Saratoga Speedway Ltd

Saratoga Speedway Ltd

Saratoga Speedway Ltd

I bet many of you didn’t know that, in another life time, I entered the “Miss Glovertown Pageant.” Although I was not required to wear a bikini, I was required to show casetalent. I chose to play the piano. 

While waiting my turn, I sized up the competition. Anne and Elizabeth concerned me. Both were incredibly lovely. Both were piano players. How good? I was soon to find out.

Anne went first. I can’t remember what she played, but do remember it as a very folksy choice. With a flourish, Anne finished, folded her talented hands in her lap, bowed her head as the applause rolled over and over and over her.


Elizabeth was next. From the first note, I knew I was in trouble. She had chosen an incredibly difficult classical piece, am thinking Beethoven’s HammerKlavierElizabeth’s fingers flew over the keys. Her body swayed with emotion. Effortlessly, she shifted from Largo to Presto. Vivace to Adagio. Piano crecended to Fortissimo. Not once did she falter.


With a flourish, Elizabeth finished, folded her talented hands in her lap, bowed her head as the applause rolled over and over and over her.

Double POOP!

No one told me that the next Carnegie Hall Piano Virtuoso lived in Glovertown. I hastily reviewed my options:

Perform my hyper extended elbow trick?


Although great, it might not be enough to impress the judges. Rejected.

Play my trumpet? Too risky. Hadn’t played for months. Rejected.

Sing? Oh! Ha! Ha! Ha! Rejected.

Playing the piano it was.

I crossed that stage feigning a dignified, unconcerned air; shoulders thrust back, head held high, gracefully sat, smoothed down my long blue dress, with the cute Peter Pan collar, which, by the way, was sewn by me, (Should I have chosen sewing?) and placed “Fleur de Lis” on the stand.

The crowd leaned expectantly forward. Would “Fleur de Lis” top Anne and Elizabeth’s choices?

I began.







So far so good. But now it was decision time. Move on to the next theme? (Which I had never actually played through without a mistake.)


Repeat the first theme?

Couldn’t risk it. I repeated the first theme.


and again.


And again.


Aaaannnnnnd again.


Every time I restarted, I promised myself,
“This time will be the last.”
But it wasn’t. Uncertainty does that to you. It stops you from moving forward. Holds you in the place you most desperately want out of.
Again and again I played the first theme. The crowd, sensing my extreme discomfort, (Sweat pouring off me, uncontrollable shaking, wild pin balling eyesharsh, erratic breathing...) tried to help by clapping when I paused, but to no avail. I continued to play it safe. For an eternity. (Right dadMom? Sister Shannon? Brothers Shenley and Steve? Friend Karen?)
On the brink of exhaustion, I finished with a flourish. And as Anne and Elizabeth did before me, sat with my hands folded on my lap, head bowedand waited…
One person clapped, then another, then another and another and another, until everyone was clapping. Was there a standing O? I am unsure who was more relieved the ordeal was over, them or me.
Unsurprisingly, I was not selected to be Miss Glovertown. It’s OK. Really. I was thrilled to have survived. Besides, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne made lovely Royals. 
Anne and me

Anne and me

Shelley and John

13 thoughts on “Beauty Pageants, Fleur de Lis, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne

    • Why thank you so much. Was cured of beauty pageants forever. My parents are coming for supper. We’ll talk about it for sure. Forgot that my dad was one of the judges. Am going to ask if he voted for me???


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