As a girl, I loved few things more than I loved the Miss. America pageant. As I remember that oh-so-lucky night of the year, my Aunt Anne would make a swimming-pool-sized batch of French onion dip and pour us each a fuzzy navel, and then, well past any decent bed time hour, we’d sit on the nubbly rug in the cool of the den casting our votes for the winners. Back then, Miss. Texas always seemed to win, and everyone wanted to feed the starving children.
These days, my husband hardly even looks at me when I jump up and down and clap my hands together. It’s on! I yell. Tonight! It’s on and we’re gonna watch it!!! But then night comes and goes, and I completely forget about it until a day or so later when I come across some grainy picture in the Daily News of a woman with flowers and a crown, and oh crap, I say, we missed it again.
I’d imagine we’re not the only people who missed the pageant. (Any watchers out there?) But I’ve been thinking a lot about these tiara-wearers, and I guess what I love most about Miss. Americas is that the only ones we ever hear of are the ones who “disgrace” the crown. Think: Vanessa Williams, that blue-eyed beauty of the 1984 crown who resigned after it was revealed that she had posed (uhm, naked) for some “questionable photographs.” Now, try to think of any other Miss. America winner. Stumped? Me too.
This week, though, we’ve got Carrie Prejean, and while Prejean was not the actual winner of last week’s Miss. USA pageant (she was second to the lovely Miss. North Cackalacky!), she’s got a whole slew of talk going on around her. First, there are her breasts: courtesy—some believe—of California pageant organizers (Thanks, fellas! With these babies I’m unstoppable!); then there are the “semi-nude” shots of her circulating on the ole interweb, but more than anything is a little comment she made during the usually uninspired interview question. Only “opposites” should be allowed to marry, she said, when asked about same-sex weddings. (Clearly, she knows me and my husband because we’re quite the opposites!)
No, readers, trust me, I have no desire to hear what you think about same-sex marriage. I want, instead, to advocate a revamping of the interview portion on television pageants. I want us to compile a list of questions so wild and controversial that they will spin the pretty heads off these ladies, spin the heads off all of us sitting in the light of the den with nothing but our vat of dip and a dream. It’s not that I want it to get ugly, I just don’t want it to be so darned pretty. I mean, heck, it’s easy to want to feed the starving children, but give me a little more meat on the brain-bone. Any suggestions?