Let Me Be the Judge

judgesIt was just an ordinary Thursday.

I was behind on laundry, paperwork, and writing deadlines as usual. Just as I decided to go into denial and work on a quilt, I got a call from a friend I hadn’t heard from in a long time, “Hi Kari, I know this is kind of out of the blue, but I have an odd favor to ask.”

Hmmm, frightening yet intriguing.

What odd favor could a distant friend suddenly need? Money? No, that isn’t odd. That’s the most common and crappy favor a friend needs. Babysitter? Still too common–and crappy. Organ donation? That would definitely be odd, and a lot to ask from an estranged friend, but in order to heroically save a life I would do it. I squared my shoulders and prepared to offer a kidney when she said, “I’m in charge of our local beauty pageant and one of the judges I had lined up backed out at the last minute, so I was wondering if you’d mind filling in tonight?”

Woo hoo! I would give an internal organ if I had too, but I’d much rather give superficial biased judgments. And I’m so good at it!

I’m sure that’s why my friend thought of her long lost buddy when the other judge pooped out. I immediately quit quilting to do much more important work; try on outfits to figure out what to wear. My friend said to dress professional casual, which killed visions of digging my formal out of mothballs, but even a sharp blouse and slacks ensemble would be a huge upgrade from my work-from-home uniform of flannel leisurewear.

The day couldn’t go by fast enough. I even resorted to working on the laundry and paperwork piles to try and pass the time more quickly towards my glamorous evening affair. I was so excited to escape ordinary life and feel like a pseudo-celebrity, I was ready EARLY and arrived ON TIME.

Upon arrival at the event, I was disappointed there was no red carpet or paparazzi outside the public library. However, I did make my escort/husband snap a quick phone pic of me before I went inside to document the occasion–and post on social media, of course (I finally figured out Instagram!).

The other judges and I were given instructions and score sheets as we were ushered to the place where the official contestant interviews would take place: the staff break room. The glamor of this gig was going down fast, but it was still fun. And the girls were amazing. More than just pretty faces, they all possessed poise, intelligence and worthy aspirations for life. They gave me great hope for the future­, even in spite of the upcoming election.

The only disappointment I experienced was when one contestant answered the question, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” with “I would save and protect all the animals of the world.”

Really?

That’s your pick out of any/all superpowers available? You don’t want to fly? Be invisible? Have bionic strength? Regenerate collagen without injections? Write a book series more popular and lucrative than Harry Potter?

Sad to waste a perfectly good beauty pageant question on principle.

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