Lilypie1st Birthday Ticker
Friday, September 01, 2006
There she is, Miss Blogger
First of all, thanks to all of you for your sweet comments on my "how we met" story. And thanks for inspiring me to actually write that, by asking me the question! Moving on to another topic that a few of you were interested in... the pageants.

It's funny... in my experience, pageants were nothing like you have seen on TV or in movies. Sure, there were some people there who you wouldn't be close friends with, but it's the same way in the real world. I've actually made some very close friends through competing, and I have never had a dress or shoe sabotaged by some bitchy contestant.

I started vying for the title of Miss Maryland when I was 18. My family doesn't have a lot of money and I knew that I couldn't afford the cost of college, even with my scholarship. Plus, knowing that I wanted to get into TV, I figured I needed a lot of experience talking in front of big groups of people. The Miss Maryland pageant seemed to fit the bill. The winner got at least $15,000 in scholarships, there was a talent competition (and I loved to sing), and if you won, you would spend the year travelling around the state doing speaking engagements.

I actually competed at the state level for four years before I won Miss Maryland at age 21. Now, I'm glad it happened then, because I had just graduated from college and I didn't have a job yet, so I was really able to focus on the title and have fun.

By far, the best experience of being Miss Maryland was going to Miss America. Awesome, awesome time. And again, no really bitchy women or shredded dresses! I worked so hard for Miss America... practicing my talent, working out, getting the clothes. I figured you might wanna see a picture or two from Miss America, so here they are:

That's me in the swimsuit competition at Miss A. I wish I could go back to being that thin again, but it just requires so much work. :) You also might notice in this pic that I am not very tall. I'm maybe 5'2" on a good day. That's definitely not the height of your typical pageant girl, but I guess I never really fit that mold anyway, which is how I like it.

This is my evening gown. I was going for simple and sexy. You weren't gonna find rhinestones all over MY dress! I loved this gown... it was comfortable and didn't wrinkle... and it was velvet. It's hanging in my closet right now, but I can't wear it, because it's so small.

Oh, and here's a pic of me doing my talent (singing) at Miss America. I remember being scared for this part. Talent always was the one area of competition that made me really nervous. I loved the interview and onstage questions, but talent was my worry-zone.

Miss America was an amazing experience... and I actually was named a finalist on national TV. That year, they called a top 20 (instead of a top 10) and I made it, short legs and all!

I also won a national award for my community service, which is something I probably haven't mentioned on here. I trained guide dogs for the blind. I grew up breeding and showing dogs, and when I reached my teens I decided to work with animals that could help people with disabilities. It's amazing... maybe I should write about that, sometime?

As much fun as the pageants were (and the fact that they paid my college tuition in full), I don't think I would compete anymore. They were fun, but I had the experience of a lifetime at Miss America and I don't think I could top that. Plus, I'd have to compete in a pageant for married women, and I think I'd feel silly. Not to mention, I think credibility is important to my job, and I don't know if wearing a crown and sash makes TV viewers take me seriously. :)

"This is Mrs. Pennsylvania, with your news tonight."

Haaaaa. Don't think that would work out too well!


Blogger janet said...

So, on top of being funny, sweet, thoughtful, and pretty, which we already knew about you, we find out you are AMAZING, and GORGEOUS, and yet also modest and generous. :) It sounds like we all have been watching too many MTV pageant shows, whereas your experience was probably much more normal (and better). Thanks for sharing; that was a fun read!

Blogger L Sass said...

Woohoo, what a hottie! What an interesting story, too.

It's nice to hear about your experiences in Miss America. (MISS AMERICA - That's huge!!) When I graduated from high school I was asked to compete in a local pageant and I laughed it off, thinking it was silly. And most of the people in this local pageant were silly. But when it can really benefit (such as your scholarships) and it doesn't seem like pure frivolity, that's cool.

Blogger jessica said...

Seriously, you are an amazing woman! You have so many hidden facets, training guide dogs?! so wonderful! And you're beautiful on top of it all. Lucky!

Blogger lizziep901 said...

You freakin rock!!! Beauty, talent, modesty.
I'm totally j.
Thanks for sharing.

Blogger AnnieM said...

That was totally interesting! You give it all up on your blog (waxing cooch and all), and that makes you super fun to read.

Blogger Swampwitch said...

I'm always amazed with people who have it all...talent, brians (brains in my world), beauty, personality, etc.
Thanks for sharing. My first visit to your GLOB...

Blogger Silly Hily said...

I hate you. No wait, I mean I lurve you. No, I hate you b/c you are a-freakin'-mazing. But that's also the reason I lurve you.
I'm so glad you finally talked about it. I knew you had said one time that you were reserved about telling people you were a beauty queen so I didn't want to ever bring it up but I've been dying to.
So, since everyone else is leaving such nice, heart-felt comments, I'll be the bitch.
I'm pissed b/c I was fully expecting DRAMA about the pageants. (Kidding. Sort of.)
And that bathing suit ROCKS and you rock in it!

Blogger M J said...

What an amazing story! What song did you end up singing?

Blogger Nikki said...

Wow, what an amazing experience!!

And yes, wow, you're gorgeous!

Blogger CPA Mom said...

One word: Stunning!

Blogger AnnaBana said...

OH MY GOSH! I had no idea! That is so awesome. You are such an interesting person! I would love to hear about you training seeing eye dogs.
And you look AMAZING in that swimsuit!

Blogger Silly Hily said...

Um, hellooooooooo. I asked you questions like a month ago. Hrmf. Pout. What the hell do you think I am? Patient?

(crack. ho.)

Blogger Isabel said...

You are hott. I love that you shared that with us. Too fun!

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