Chickens, Pageants and Parking Ramps

Saturday, I traveled to the Miss Minnesota Pageant. My niece was a contestant and I wanted to join family to offer support. I am not your typical pageant goer. I don’t wear  a lot of makeup, heels or dresses. As one who works with children, usually on the floor, I tend to dress in a wash and wear style.

I thought I would make it easier on myself by driving to Minnesota (near my daughters) to get ready there. I had my hair styled at their salon and proceeded next door to get my nails done.

Running short on time, I exited the salon against the stylists recommendation and ran for my car. As I fumbled with keys and phone, I decimated my first nail. Darn! I tried repairing the nail by pushing the still wet polish back into place as I drove. That is when the rain storm hit. I parked outside my daughter’s home hoping the rain would subside. It didn’t. I ran for the house trying to save the hair and saturating the dress I planned to wear as I held it over my head. The lock box with the key for the home (since my daughter was out of town) would not budge and trying to force it open damaged a second nail. I stood outside the locked house and wailed…quietly.

Pulling myself together, I headed back to my car, this time saving the dress from another soaking but exposing my hair to the elements. As I gazed at my image in the rearview mirror, I wondered how other people could calmly get ready for these events.

I drove to my second daughter’s apartment where I dressed, dabbed on makeup, my daughter salvaged my hair, then we sprinted for the car. I handed my iPad to my daughter with a screen shot of the directions for the location where we were meeting my sister-in-law. She looked at the directions and said, “I can’t follow this. Where’s the dot that shows where we are on a map?” And I thought, “Oh, for crying out loud!”

We decided to try my car’s GPS. I have a 2007 Prius with a GPS system that only works with voice commands when you are driving. Not having time to stop and type in directions, we used our voices.

GPS system: “After hitting the talk button, please say the name of the state.”
Me: “Minnesota”
GPS system: “Minnesota. After hitting the talk button, please say the name of the city or change state.”
Me: “Eden Prairie”
GPS system: “Eden Prairie. After hitting the talk button, please say the name of the street or change city.”

Everything was working smoothly until we came to the street number. The system was unable to get the street number correct so we had to start over from the very beginning. I know, I know, I should have pulled over and typed in the directions. But that doesn’t work so well either. I have a demented GPS system.

We arrived (late) to pick up my sister-in-law. She got in the car as we prepared to travel to another location to meet my sister and her daughter.

I gave the iPad (with the next set of directions) to my sister-in-law. My daughter was relaying the new address into the GPS. My sister, ever helpful, telephoned to guide us. Unfortunately, all we could hear of her voice, over the speaker, was static. This was just too much for us. As the GPS talked to us, the iPad went into sleep mode and my sister conversed in static, we howled with laughter causing makeup to stream down our faces.

We finally met up with my sister, who took us to her car. As we were talking about our ordeal, unbeknownst to us she was driving through the parking ramp going the wrong way. As vehicles approached, we screamed, she dodged cars and executed an amazing feat of chicken with one man. We won.

Five bedraggled women arrived at the Miss Minnesota Pageant. We cheered, hooted and howled as my amazingly beautiful, talented niece performed throughout the night. At the end of the evening, she was the last woman standing. Yes, that is correct. She won and is the new, reigning Miss Minnesota.

After the pageant, we were allowed on stage to offer congratulations, hugs and say our goodbyes. That is when the photographer decided to take an extended family picture. Noooooooooooooooo! Just thinking about standing near an evening gown clad Miss Minnesota for a public photo made me cringe. With no hope for escape, I stood in the back row trying to look invisible.

What a day! I dropped my daughter off at her apartment (after getting her sister’s spare key) and drove to my eldest daughter’s home (with my sister and niece following in their vehicle) for some much needed sleep. We walked into the home when I remembered I needed to head to the basement to make sure the chickens were okay.

Chickens you say? In the basement? Yes…. but that is a story for another day.


20 thoughts on “Chickens, Pageants and Parking Ramps”

  1. That was such a crazy day! So much fun :) I am still so thrilled that I managed to escape the photos!!

    1. You are so wily and smart. You exited stage left and missed the family photo op! We will just have to photoshop you in! Loved spending the day laughing and screaming with you.

    1. This is good to know. Wish you could have been there to experience the insanity! And I really do have a chicken story (with heart palpitations and all). You will just have to wait.

  2. Aaaaaaaand, remember when you burned your arm on the candle? Or how I had to go to the bathroom so bad in the car I hardly made it? Or my money falling out of my purse? Or me scheduling a house showing right before we had to go? Or Kristi screeching her tires because she drives so crazy? Or you tearing the lace in your dress? Or me with crumbs all over my butt? Or us as always eating until we’re sick? Or when you grabbed your nieces Diet Coke out of her hand and chugged it inappropriately? Or after we tried to be the loudest “noisemakers” all night then jumped up when she won and almost passed out and tumbled to our imminent doom? Hahahaha! What a day, Lindsay said she laughed so hard when she heard our voicemail at the end of the night and we sounded delirious :)

    1. I am so glad that you wrote down all the memorable events because remember, I am older and forgetful. What a day and night. What memories. What hysteria. I do love my family.
      p.s. Next time do not go looking at houses when you should be helping your mother ;)

  3. OK, I’m dying to know about the chickens. But I can feel your pain about the GPS. I often have trouble with mine recognizing addresses and will sometimes just look for something close to the address I need and then hunt it out from there. BTW, messing up nail polish makes me nuts. Yet it seems to be inevitable.

    1. I am glad I am not the only one who goes crazy when nail polish is ruined. And now I know why women through the ages take a whole day to get ready for an event. If I had used a little better time management, I probably could have sailed calmly through the day. Ok, who am I kidding ;)

  4. Miss Minnesota! How wonderful you got to share in the excitement. Although, I think you had enough excitement to last a very long time before the pageant even began.

  5. Your family is NUTS and is pure joy to read about. I know they aren’t really nuts but yes they are!

  6. First, congratulations to your niece! You must all be so proud of her! And whatever her talent may be, it obviously runs in the family. I don’t know if writing ability can count in a pageant talent show, but if it could, you would win with ease! This was another hilarious post, and I could FEEL your pain, frustration, and finally your humor with the day’s chain of events. Believe me, I’ve had days like this…although not ending with a state pageant win! AND, I’m eagerly waiting to hear about the chickens! I feel sure, in many ways, we are kindred spirits! At least we seem to get into some similar types of scrapes :) ~ Sheila

    1. Thanks Sheila! That is one experience I have loved about blogging, finding kindred spirits. As I read your blog I find the wisdom within each post affirms, informs and expands my own thinking. Love it.

  7. How great that your niece won Miss Minnesota! Congrats to her! An old student of mine was Princess Kay of the Milky Way a few years back – so fun. I hope your niece does well in the Miss America pagaent! When is it, anyway?


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