My mother thought organized religion was one of the problems with the world, this extended to the Girl Scouts and the PTA (a somewhat convenient belief for a mother of 4, since you can’t ask someone to go against their beliefs). She also believed that children shouldn’t be allowed to act.
I have never quite understood how I talked her into letting me enter the Beverly Hills’ Miss Easter Bunny pageant when I was 8 – one of the prizes was a screen-test – but I did.
I don’t know what I was thinking. I think I thought it would be fun to ride down Beverly Drive in an old white cadillac with the top down sitting next to the Mayor of Beverly Hills and wave at the throngs of people I imagined would be lining the streets. I think I thought I was going to win.
Little did I know, the fix was in.
My dress was perfect. Did I sing, No, I think I recited an Emily Dickinson poem. I don’t remember. I remember feeling TALL. And somewhat awkward. Pretty. But somewhat awkward.
And Janie Roberts won. Janie Roberts, (who may in fact have been a more appropriate Miss Easter Bunny since she was 3’1” to my probably 4’7” even at the age of 8) but Janie Roberts’ mother owned Taffy’s Dress Shop. And Taffy’s was the sponsor of the Beverly Hills' Miss Easter Bunny Pageant.
And my mother was indignant. “You don’t honestly believe that the Miss Easter Bunny Pageant was rigged, do you?” my father asked her.
Yes, of course, that’s exactly what she believed and she turned her nose up certain she was right about it and that organized religion was the problem with everything and organizations (and contests) were better not to be entered.