Monday, September 25
"Almost" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades...
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.

  Into the pensieve on Monday, September 25, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (15)

At September 25, 2006, Blogger Erin said...

I read this post with RAPT attention! It was my life all over the place. Except that I never won any contests for beauty or wit, or even for the sake of charity.

All my school pictures were taken on rainy days when I decided it best to plaster my hair with hair spray (as coiff protection against the humidity, dontcha know?). I'm a helmet head each and every year of my childhood life.

Somehow I thought the announcement for seniors to submit their baby pictures to the yearbook committee applied to ALL seniors, not just the popular ones. Nope, I didn't make the cut. And one extra-popular girl even got TWO of her baby pictures on the same one page spread. I was doomed from the beginning on that one.

Aren't you glad you can laugh at this stuff now?

At September 25, 2006, Blogger Amanda said...

Yes, we are still reading!

At September 25, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

Of course it's not about you. It's all about me, silly.
And, for the record, I would never have been friends with a cheerleader in high school. I was too busy thinking deep thoughts and having deep dreams and making fun of the cheers with the literary/music/theatre group in high school. Good thing we can be buddies now (if only on the internet).

At September 25, 2006, Blogger Swampwitch said...

I was very touched by what you said about your mom. You believed her dreams...
I certainly did relate to your story about Homecoming/cheerleader/walk through the middle of the majorettes who saluted all the cheerleaders but me...surprisingly enough, it really didn't bother me that much then but I do remember it.

At September 25, 2006, Blogger willowtree said...

That sucks!! You were robbed. I don't think I would ever have seen the funny side. I read all the way to the bottom (a new endurance record for me). And just like you, I was robbed! What was the point? You better set things straight missy!

At September 25, 2006, Blogger Karmyn R said...

I am still reading - AND - I feel your pain.

In my 9th year - the yearbook group made a horrible mistake. they left one person's name out - and thus, everyone's name was moved forward on that page, so the names are all incorrect - and being only Freshman, they probably didn't care that my name was Gary Hueck. But, I did. (oh - and the last picture on the page had the missing name, which was out of alphabetical order)

OKAY - I have now signed up with a email account -

e-mail me and I'll send you some Oregon highlights and answer any questions that Stephen wants to ask about Oregon!!!!

At September 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how our perspective changes, isn't it? And I'm sorry I didn't nominate you for the Emmy earlier - it was a crazy weekend!

My new address:

At September 25, 2006, Blogger M J said...

I tried out for Cheerleading Princess. I wanted that tiara.

I was funny. Apparently funny wasn't the way to get the crown. It went to the one who hiked up her skirt and forgot who the mayor of our city was on the "quiz" portion of the evening. Figures.

At September 25, 2006, Blogger Pamela said...

Someone sent me a beautiful Email about "keepers" .... and I thought of you when I read it.

And.... I wanted to give you a hug because you lost your mom at such a young age and therefore, I'm sure missed out on important squeezes.

At September 25, 2006, Blogger Susan in va said...

LOL Robin!! Every year, my high school yearbook had a picture of the head cheerleaders from each squad (i.e. Varsity Football, J.V. Football, Basketball, etc.). My senior year I was head Varsity Football cheerleader, and guess what? No photo of the head cheerleaders that year! I remember being pretty perturbed over that. It seems so insignificant now.

P.S. I can't tell you how many times I have to remind myself that "it's" not about me :)

At September 25, 2006, Blogger Malissa said...

aww! I'm sorry about your mom!

Well I have some photos that made the yearbook that I'd have preferred didn't;)

At September 25, 2006, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

I agree with the others. It IS about you, but it's also about "us", too, isn't it?

On the flip side, with all the photoshop technology around you can always scan those yearbook pics and paste in an old shot of yourself (or someone from the catwalk -- LOL). Then you can grin whenever you look at it, remembering "when"...

At September 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Robin - you crack me up- that is for sure. I read the entire post and I will catch you later if you ever decide to make a point on this post. It was funny and that is enough for me - point well made :).
To be honest with you - we don't have the cheerleading thingi going in Germany and I never understood why it was so big here in the US. But it does look like fun when you a teenager...

At September 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh - one more thing - I am sorry you lost your mom at such a tender age.

At September 26, 2006, Blogger Susannah said...

Oops! I was on the yearbook committee. I hope I didn't make any major bloopers.

Yes, I read all the way to the end. You're worth it. And judging by your lovely painted toes, you're sweet Mom was right--you could have been Miss America!


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Married to my college sweet-heart :)...three GREAT kids I'm not selling to the circus today...I LOVE to laugh (& smile often) to read & cook, hate to shop (unless the store is very small and doesn't leave me dazed and confused). I'm scared of flying so although I'd like to travel more, I don't.

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A Pensieve is a stone basin.... [One] can extract his or her own memories and place them in the Pensieve, especially to relieve the mind when it becomes too flooded with information. Anyone can examine the memories in the Pensieve, which also allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the memories stored within...

A Pensieve first appears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire...

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