Confessions of an Almost Homecoming Queen
Life is characterized by fleeting moments. True or false?
There is no right answer, I presume. Like 95% of the marketing tests I have been privileged to take, the correct answer is the “best answer.” The self-composed theory of the “best answer” is best explained by example: when one is presented with a question, rather than making life easy by simply requiring a correct answer, one should instead filter through a bunch of homogenous bullshit for the “best answer.”
What the flapjack does that even mean—the best answer? Ha, it’s like when people say “put your best foot forward.” Honestly, I am right footed but my left foot has less of an aggressive big toe, so, which is my “best”? Are you smelling what my best foot is stepping in people?
What’s considered the “best” is always subjective. More or less, it’s nothing more than an opinion. Is Kobe Byrant or Lebron James the “best” player in the NBA? You tell me, because your best just might not be mine.
Back to the question. As far as life being characterized by fleeting moments, here is my “best answer:”
In 2005, you probably would have found me in Big Temple’s 1992 Volvo Station Wagon, lighting my pink camel with a match, knee deep in Smirnoff ice, screaming the lyrics to Usher’s “Yeah.” I might have been one-hand texting on my Nokia 660, cruising to the Sonic Drive-In for a route 66 to house my alcoholic sugar water. No big deal, I was a bad ass. I thought it and assumed everyone else did too. One humble day in October proved otherwise.
I am not going to lie, when I saw my name on the list of Senior Homecoming Maids, I attributed it to the success of my first nose job. You may think it vain, but if you know me at all, you would know the beauty of that particular nose was short-lived…RIP.
The sequin dress, the pep rally outfit, the escort, the after party, the fake smile, and the subtle campaign for queen was to be discussed, and discussed it was. Queen Kate I was to be named.
In my mind, according to my plan, I was to be the 2005 Homecoming Queen. Plans humor me, and the following events explain my reasons why.
Yes, I was in my white sequin dress with a slit so far up the middle Malcolm felt it. Yes, my escort was an old fling (publicity stunt? perhaps…) with flirtatious tactics well beyond his years. Yes, an after party had been planned with party favors to include framed Google earth pictures of the football field.
No, I did not win.
Obviously, I do not expect you to feel sorry for me for losing something that is an honor to be a part of in the first place.
The humility, however, came in the way in which I lost the contest for homecoming queen that year. You see, the Senior Homecoming Court was composed of four senior girls: Caroline R, Caroline W, Caroline T, and Kate C. In case you didn’t bite the obvious bullet in the previous sentence, there were three Carolines and only one Kate.
I remember it vividly: the Carolines and I were proudly stationed in our sequin lineup highly anticipating the announcement of Queen. Our faces were toward the audience and our backs to our escorts. The stadium was packed and so silent I could hear my mother stealing swigs of her ”Kendall Jackson Latte.”
My time had come, right? The announcer began by saying your 2005 Homecoming Queen is Caroline……PAUSE……HE FLIPPING PAUSED!!
Now, lets take a second here to do damage control on what a pause truly entails. In any other circumstance, seriously, any other circumstance, a pause would be just fine, but under the current circumstances of three Carolines still eligible for Queendom and only one Kate, a mangy maid, well it’s flat out poppycock.
For what seemed like 20 minutes, which according to my father’s video camera was only five, I WAS THE ONLY PERSON ON THE COURT THAT HAD LOST. Uh huh, THE ONLY PERSON.
Five minutes of monumental humility. The fleeting moment in question came in those five minutes: I realized I had lost. I was embarrassed. I was going to live.
Humility is a fleeting occurrence and embracing it is what makes it virtuous. I will break it down with this statement – my “best answer”: Life is characterized not by fleeting moments but by how we choose to react to them.
DISCLAIMER: This was a big deal to me then because I was in high school. Everything is a big deal in high school. Don’t judge.