Homecoming Queen

I just watched last weekend as a high school beauty was crowned queen in front of a stadium of parents and peers…
The fact that I have been nominated twice in my life for this role may be some sort of social echelon feat, but losing profoundly in both contests sort of cancels out the glamour.
High School: I’ve straightened my hair, I have a sash that reads ‘Homecoming Queen Nominee,’ I bought a new dress, new shoes, and am getting letters from relatives on how proud they are. Then things turn sour. I am reminded by one of my (then) closest friends ‘not to get my hopes up’ on the Friday of the big game, am escorted out by my parents onto a freezing football field, and am waiting anxiously…thinking I might actually be the one. Not only do I not make Homecoming Queen, I do not make Homecoming Queen Runner-up. Which means the student body has rejected me (at least) twice.
College: The nomination was the easy part. The interview was where it all went south. Unlike the other nominees, I had to conduct my interview on the phone while in New York, NY because I had the fabulous opportunity of working Fashion Week. So you can imagine me, in the middle of the loud city, looking for a place of peace to answer these 8 ‘simple’ questions. It was one of those moments when I could think of everything opposite of the answer I needed. For instance, the interviewer asked me what I loved most about TCU. All I could think about was negative things about the campus/community. So I talked about how inclusive it was, how welcoming the people were…all things I had thought to the contrary in my own experience. Next question: What is your relationship to TCU? “I am a student.” I think that’s where it all stopped.
So I clap with the rest of the crowd when this young girl is crowned queen. But who I’m really looking at is the other girls, around the periphery, who are learning just how ‘cool’ it is to be ‘uncool!’ I fly under the radar these days…

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