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Michelle Close Mills

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The Beauty Queen
By Michelle Close Mills
Monday, January 16, 2006

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Michelle Close Mills
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           >> View all 44


Sometimes there aren't enough places to hide...

Once upon a time, I learned through experience how to avoid profound embarrassment.

 

This enlightenment took place shortly after our baby daughter Julie was born.  During her first three months she suffered from colic, a malady that caused her to cry for hours on end. Sheer exhaustion coupled with jangled nerves transformed her once good-looking mommy into a disheveled zombie averaging three hours of sleep per night. I was so zonked that I could barely stagger unaided to the bathroom, let alone apply cosmetics.

 

One afternoon while my husband babysat, I escaped from the house for a quiet stroll through the mall. It was delightful wandering in and out of stores, quietly browsing.  However I just couldn’t shake the nagging suspicion that I’d forgotten to do something important.

 

I was standing in the Hallmark store giggling over the birthday cards, when someone’s infant began wailing.

 

As a sudden gush produced two large wet blotches on the front of my shirt, I remembered what had escaped my memory.

 

Oh no.

 

I hadn’t put disposable nursing pads inside my bra.

 

The more the little tyke cried, the soggier I got. Though what was happening to me was a common occurrence among nursing mothers, it was clearly time to make like an atom and split.

 

I stuffed the card I was reading back into the rack and fled for the door, praying no one had observed my predicament.

Just when I was about to make a clean getaway, a pleasant voice behind me called,

 

“Michelle is that you?”

 

(Critical error here. I stopped running.)

 

Whirling around, I was eyeball to eyeball with my old school chum Mandy Peterson, who had just been crowned Miss Seminole, and was preparing for the Miss Florida pageant. 

 

She looked every inch the beauty queen, with long, shiny auburn hair, skintight blue jeans, high-heeled black boots, and a lovely peach colored cashmere sweater perfectly complimenting her glowing complexion.

 

And there I stood; a makeup-less train wreck, zits on my chin, eyes bugged out in disbelief, messy blonde hair reminiscent of Shredded Wheat, clad in faded maternity duds, my horrified mouth catching flies as I gawked at her like the village idiot. 

 

To say I was embarrassed was an understatement. If it were possible to perish from humiliation, I’d have dropped dead on the spot.

 

Somehow, I managed to pull myself together. We chatted briefly, each valiantly straining to hear the other over the howling baby. My mind was fixed on one goal, a beeline for the nearest exit. I had a mental image of my bosoms spewing like opened fire hydrants, drizzling their contents down my legs, and puddling in my Keds if I didn’t make hypersonic tracks, which I did moments later.

 

From that day on, I’ve been a changed woman. 

 

Since someone somewhere in the great beyond delights in arranging mortifying reunions with old loves, old friends, and beauty queens if I dare venture from the house looking less than my best, it should come as no surprise that I’m ready for them.

 

I won’t even take out the trash without applying fresh mascara, lip-gloss, and running a brush through my hair first.

 

After all, one never knows whom one might bump into while dragging a Hefty bag.

 

Michelle Close Mills ©

 

 


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Reviewed by Susan Smith 9/3/2008
Great story. It put a smile on my face. And it the stuff of comedy skits.
Reviewed by Reginald Johnson 8/29/2007
Thank you, Michelle, for this amusing article. Now I know what an ounce of makeup is worth a pound of excuses means! (Pun & fun, intended.) May I add one caveat? Sometimes "two wet blotches" on the front of one's shirt can be a cause for envy. I have known some beautiful (but miserable) women who did not ... and now... can not have children. They would exchange their mascara, faked eyelashes, and hair extensions for what you possess; in a heartbeat.
Reviewed by Mary Grace Patterson 9/24/2006
An enchanting look into the challenges of mother hood and its affects on us.......M
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 4/7/2006
Delightful, Michelle. So honest and real as well. Thank you for sharing this humorous side of you. Love and peace to you my friend,

Regis
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 1/18/2006
Michelle,

This is a charming, fun read; thanks for the grins today! Well done!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by C. J. Stevens 1/18/2006
Humerously and charmingly written. Everyone has those moments of utter humiliation, but only a top-notch writer can create something of such value from them.
CJ
Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher 1/17/2006
Recall reading the first "Beauty Queen" a few month ago, which was entertaining for sure, but this is even better now! Great job,
Birgit and Roger
Reviewed by Chrissy McVay 1/17/2006
Oh my goodness, have I been there!!! Never do I run to the gas station anymore thinking, 'why bother to comb my hair, change out of my gardening attire, etc. None of the teens that work there knows me'. Then I hear 'hey, aren't you Devan's mom?'. My poor children!
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 1/16/2006
Hahahahaha....been there done that,,,G R O S S.....but had a good laugh reading you!!

Me getting zits now having the menopause bloody thingy...even more....GRRRRRRRRRR G R O S S!!

Love Tinka

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