I was eating milk & cookies in my pj’s. Granny was in her bathrobe and we never missed the opening: Bert Parks in his tux belting out, “There she is Miss America.” For the next two hours, the two of us sat transfixed in front of the old b/w TV. We each had a pad and paper and crossed out contestants as the evening wore on. More often than not, we picked the final 3 although not always in the same order.
Frankly, as a kid, my goal was to BE Miss America. Granny thought it was a silly thing to aspire to. She said a woman should use her brain in life—not her body. “Besides, women look ridiculous wearing high heels when they’re in bathing suits. They make their butts stick out.”
Yup. She was pretty much right about everything. I didn’t realize it then, of course. I was too busy figuring out how I could procure a pair of heels and practice my walk. Somewhere along the line, though, I put that dream, like many others, away in a box. But I never quite closed the lid.
Funny thing about the dreams we have when we’re young. They might not come true but they always remain a part of us even when we get old. You see, just a few days ago, a 74 year-old woman was crowned, “Miss Senior America.” She didn’t give up her dream either. Neither should you. (Helen Hudson is the author of, “Kissing Tomatoes,” a memoir of the years she cared for her grandmother with Alzheimer’s. http://www.helen-hudson.com ).