Pageant Tangent in The Town of Llareggub

  • Sept. 22, 2015, 4:57 a.m.
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Thinking about beauty pageants. Because I just saw a dvr’ed episode of Dawson’s Creek in which Joey and Pacey enter the local beauty pageant, hoping to win the cash prize. My child-mind wonders what it would be like to be in one, if I’d sing, and if so, what song I’d sing. My little cousin won Miss Laredo a couple of years ago, and competed in the Miss Texas pageant. She’s beautiful, but I think she was too skinny to be considered. I was very proud of her, though. My God, when I moved away from there, she was this cute little toddler who never left her little sister’s side, also a cute little toddler. The younger one is now considering becoming a nun, and the beauty pageant winner just graduated from college.

I think it’s sad that my mom always feels so out of place around our own family. I guess that’s why she raised me pretty much apart from the rest of them.

They really are very nice and loving, but she has trouble believing that nice, loving, respectable people ever actually like her. She always thinks people are pretending, and silently judging her behind their kind words and smiles. I really don’t think most of the people in question are. The ironic thing, though, is that because she thinks they are, she does nothing but quietly judge and hate them for being or seeming well adjusted and confident. When especially entrenched in that mode of thinking, I’ve gathered that she pretty much hates me as well. But she’s nice enough to me most of the time, or at least cordial, or at least leaves me alone, unless she has a problem. All I’ve ever wanted from my mother, since I was 15, is for her to be happy. I’m not foolish enough, unlike my littlest sister, however, to think that I can actually have any influence on whether or not she reaches this state of being. I remember crying my eyes out in the bedroom I was using at my grandmother’s house when I was 13 years old, because I’d wanted so much for my mother to be pleased with something I’d done, and she’d been rude and nasty to me instead. This happened almost nonstop. But this time, my grandmother knocked on the door and walked in and sat on the bed beside my shaking form. “Don’t try to please her,” she so wisely advised. “She’ll never be pleased with anything or anyone, so you’re only going to be hurt over and over again if you keep trying to please her.”

I remember I stopped crying after she said that, quietly processed what I immediately recognized as truth, and followed my grandmother’s sage advice. Stopped expecting anything positive from my mother, and was eventually much happier. My strength and confidence really began to blossom after that. My mother’s pain is still my pain, however. When I think about her, I see a troubled young woman who was never able to get over a sexual attack that I’m certain happened to her when she was young, that she’s always tried to keep from me. I cry or at least feel sadness when I think of her. I know she’ll never be proud of me, especially now that I’m an evil conservative, but I hope one day, she learns how to be happy.

I also hope that my littlest sister Aria doesn’t grow up to be just as insecure as our mother. Aria’s never given up on trying to please her. She does almost everything she does in hopes that the woman will look at her with pride. Aria, as a consequence, I think, has about the lowest self esteem that I’ve ever seen from a teenage girl. That pains me more than anything, but I’m at least able to get through to her here and there. I make sure to tell her how wonderful she is when we speak, and that she doesn’t even need all of the awards she wins for me to be proud of her. I make sure to tell her I love her just for being the person that she is. Though it was wise for me to do so with my mom, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up on trying to make Aria a happy and confident person.

Last updated September 22, 2015

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