This week, actually at this exact moment, we would’ve been checking in to the National pageant in Southern California if things had gone according to plan. I don’t know why I expected them to, honestly. Things never go as scheduled for me. It’s nothing new.
But I guess I figured since the state pageant went so smoothly, the national level would work the same way.
Not so much.
As a matter of fact, this entire week was to be spent in Southern California in preparation for this National pageant my daughter was supposed to be participating in. We weren’t thrilled at the idea of spending Thanksgiving away from home, because we never have (it’s ALWAYS at my house), but we were excited for our daughter. She was excited. At least, it started off that way.
She took her title as the Nevada State Ambassador seriously and started working on fundraisers as soon as she was crowned. Pageant officials told us she was to compete in the National Competition for a variety of titles. Even though she had placed for Top Model and Miss Photogenic, what she was aiming for was the National Ambassador title and/or Queen’s title. To be a contender for for National Ambassador, she had some work to do. She had to acquire sponsorships and backing from her community and attend the pageant representing her state, as well as organizations and businesses from her community. That can’t be too hard, right?
While some people may have the health and the funds to travel across the state reaching out to those who may be willing to help, she/we don’t. We have to work and she has doctors appointments to go to. That was the first problem. But we thought that since Nevada is such a proactive state (when it comes to bringing attention to itself), there wouldn’t be an issue. And we though that since the gluten free/Celiac community was supposedly a tight-knit community that supported each other, there wouldn’t be an issue. Most importantly, we thought since we had family promising to help, there wouldn’t be an issue.
As of today, we’re not sure who we are most disappointed in.
But I’ll start from the beginning with a story of an unexpected visit that played a role in the demise of the national pageant. This all started before the state pageant had even begun. Would you believe it if I told you it started on Facebook?
I have family members on Facebook that I rarely speak to, for various reasons that I’ll get into later. But one of these happens to be my stepmom. As much as it has pained me over the years to try to get my dad and stepmom involved in the lives of my kids it has just never happened. For years I was the one who drove to them. And even at just an hour and half away, they only visited my house 3 times in 10 years. One of those times they didn’t even come inside and another time they were only at my hose for 20 minutes. I can’t imagine not being a part of my kid’s or grandkid’s (hypothetically speaking) life. But that’s another post for another time. The background of their lack of involvement is relevant to understand what unfolds here.
When my daughter was announced as a state finalist in the pageant, I was a proud mama and announced it on Facebook. And when she ended up in the paper, I was a proud mam and announced it on Facebook. And as the extent of my stepmom’s usual involvement in our lives went, she liked these statuses on Facebook. Ugh. In liking these statuses, everyone on her friend’s list got to see that her granddaughter was a state finalist in a pageant and she soon realized that it gave her some bragging rights. She shared the news with friends and at work and was happy to do so because she thought it was making her look good until she got an unexpected question……
“So when do you leave for the pageant?”
That’s when she realized how bad she was going to look to everyone.
That’s when I got a phone call.