Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Four Reasons to Cut Miss Utah Some Slack

As a citizen of the internet, I am naturally superior to everyone else.    I'll make fun of you on my Twitter account, my Facebook account,  and my MySpace account (where I'll mock you for your MySpace account.)    It's the internet.   It's what we do here.

So when I saw my inferior Facebook friends post the link to video of Miss Utah embarrassing herself with the latest beauty pageant flub, I clicked with my guns blazin'.    After all, who doesn't like to laugh when someone fails massively in that tribute to all that is important and special in women, a beauty pageant.    So I watched the video. 

What's the first thing I notice?  It looks like Giuliana Rancic is taking fashion tips from Bjork.  I mean seriously, did she go to Bridesmaids R Us to pick out that hideous thing she's wearing?    Was Miss Utah worried about having her eyes pecked out?

Second is the music.  It's like the producers went to the guy who wrote the music for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and asked him who it was that delivered carryout during the recording session. Then they had THAT guy write the music.   The poor girl may have gotten a migraine just waiting for the question.

Third is Nene Leakes.   How intimidating is it to be asked a question by someone who has been authenticated as a REAL Housewife of Atlanta, and not that bogus crap you'd find on other beauty pageants.     Judging by her hair and eyelashes, Ms. Leaks is a person who likes to keep it real and sees through all of this fake beauty crap.   And Nene Leakes (no relation to Wiki Leakes) is intimidating as a professional communicator.  Witness the way she tears into the question and makes it her own, making up her own pronunciations for words like "with" and "society."

Fourth is the question.    "A recent report shows that in 40 percent of the households with children, women are the primary earners.    Yet they continue to earn less than men.   What does this say about society?"  

I'm not saying Miss Utah realized it, but the only correct answer to the question is to ask for clarification.    Is Nene saying that women earn less than men in the 40 percent of households where women are the primary earners?  If so, wouldn't that make them the secondary earners in at least some of those households?   Can we really talk about the disparity in these households if we don't know what types of jobs these women might be doing versus the households where men are the primary earners?     Is the income problem because of the jobs these women take or have available to them versus the ones men take?   Is it a systemic problem related to single parent homes?  Or is the question meant to highlight a disparity in pay for equivalent jobs?

Since there is so much unknown here, I probably would have stared at Nene and fumbled my way through as well.   Actually, I'd have probably said, "It shows that society is full of people who have trouble writing a question with clarity and enough information so that it can actually be answered in the time you've given me."

The reality is that Miss Utah looks like me in the average job interview.   In my mind I crushed the question.   In reality, I looked like I have a brain the size of a walnut.    I knew what I meant to say, and that's almost as good as actually saying it.

So let's cut Miss Utah some slack and move on to real issues.   Like what's up with Giuliana's dress?  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Time Marches Around Us

The past month has been one of tremendous change for those around me.    My parents finally sold the house they'd lived in since I was 13, a place where happiness and heartbreak intermingled for much of 30 years.  Then my daughter finished six years of elementary school and said goodbye to the place where she first started to gain her independence and education.  

I think that we all ignore the passage of time when it comes to those we're closest to.   Our parents remain the same people who made the world better when we fell off our bike or had our heartbroken, and who drastically overreacted the first and tenth time we accidentally farted at the dinner table.     Our children remain our babies who we're sworn to protect from the dangers of electrical sockets and evil boys and girls who wish to break their hearts.   And many of us remain those same confused adult/children of high school, excited to be adults, but still wishing for the relative safety of childhood, and wondering how we could possibly have full time jobs, be making mortgage payments, and have friends with kids in college.  

We know that time marches on, but we like to deny that it happens to us.     We can study the faces of those we haven't seen in awhile on Facebook and say, "man, they got old" while comfortably denying the wrinkles and thinning hair on our own heads.  

It is only when we reach these milestones in our lives that we truly start to see the signs of time marching on.   We see the parents slower in their step, a little more confused in their behavior, and grayer around the temple.   We look at the pictures of our children and wonder how they went from being the chubby cheeked little ones with baby teeth to the kids that are starting to dwarf us and are wearing braces and clothing that makes them look 30.   We pause.  We take a breath.   And hopefully we try a little harder to savor the moments we have a little more, realizing that time truly does fly.