May 12, 2009

Ready, Let's Sew...

Today's post features a guest blogger, my child. It's my blog so I can do this sort of stuff from time to time. She wrote this paper for a class and I was so impressed that I want to feature her here. Proud parents can do that. She is 13, and keep in mind I NEVER saw the essay the whole time she was working on it. I had NO input in it whatsoever.

For your reading pleasure, I present, Ms. Mini Fresh:

"And this year's Ready Let's Sew winner and state fair participant is..." Ridden with the bitterness of losing, I swallowed, trying to lose the sour taste in my mouth. Blinking rapidly, I tried to keep the wetness out of my eyes.

I'd thought I'd been one of the better ones, at least well enough to get one of the 15 honorable mentions. Which little farmer won it this year?, my thoughts mocking whoever won the contest. I mean, I know that my mom said 4-H isn't just for country kids, but I didn't completely believe her. I had joined 4-H two months earlier, in the sewing and cooking categories. In the sewing room of our troop leader's hours, I had worked for 10 hours, stitching each seam as close to perfection as I could. Finally the big day of judging arrived. I double checked my teal-with-brown-polka-dots cargo shorts, messenger bag and scrunchy all had firm seams, and no wrinkles.

Earlier that day, I had had my first round of judging for my shorts. I got an A. Not a big deal. Everyone did, unless you didn't do any work at all. We went home for lunch, and came back at 5 for the second round of judging. The second round of judging was optional. You could do it if you wanted to try for a ribbon, or a state fair invitation. When we got there, there was a half-hour of utter confusion, and then it was almost time. We all knew when our turn was, and where to walk on the runway. I had gotten a yellow tag with the number 47 on it, which meant I was the forty-seventh contestant in our category. We slowly shuffled upstairs by category. After all 300+ of us were seated we all pretended to watch the scuffed black runway beneath us, but we were all looking at the competition, sizing it up. After a few moment of spying, I began to feel very out of place. Everyone else was wearing a cute, colorful, floral-print skirt, whereas I was wearing almost-boy-cargo shorts. I'm gonna fail 'cause I don't look anything like anyone else.

With a start, I finally noticed the group that was walking on the runway. Hey! My friend is in Frugal Fashions! I liked how people managed to find a great outfit for $5.00, but was internally laughing when someone thought they got a great deal spending $30.00. I didn't like the fact that they didn't sew, though. They got to show off with the people who worked for days sewing, and they didn't even spend one shopping. About a half-hour later, it was time for our category. We quietly got up, and someone led us through a twisting and turning back way, and we wound up behind the stage. We counted off into 2 groups, and each group took a side on the runway. Watching impatiently, I waited for my turn. When I finally got to see the stage, I began to get very nervous.

I got to watch each of the judges' faces, but they didn't give much away. All I wanted at that point was for them not to hate my outfit visibly. How embarrassing it would be for them to make a face, and grimace until I was done. Finally it was my turn. I walked carefully, so I didn't trip in my wedges (I can't walk normally in any shoe besides a flat. I swear I find as many things as possible I can trip over). Fortunately, I made it to the end without a single stumble. As I walked off the runway, I was handed a homemade ribbon, and a goodie bag that only a sewer would want; with a seam ripper and a retractable measuring tape. I made my way upstairs, and was consumed in my own thoughts for the rest of the show. I only paid attention when someone I knew was on the runway. I really can't tell you what happened during the rest of the show, other than the music really started to bug me. But finally, it was time for judging. First they did awards for leaders and helpers, and then it was time for the contestants. They went slowly through the honorable mentions, and I eagerly listened for my name. I was positive I was going to get a prize. When the honorable mentions came and went, I was a little disappointed that I wasn't picked. Some of those kids still had threads hanging off their skirts! Well, maybe I was good enough to get third place. I was positive I wouldn't get first or second place. There were much better ensembles than mine. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could probably be 3rd place. By then all the honorable mentions were done being called, and it was time for the top three in each category.

They announced Frugal Fashion's winners, which went right over my head. I was too impatient for the Ready, Let's Sew winners. "And this year's third place for Ready Let's Sew is..." The announcer's mike blared enough to make people cringe. I can't remember who won third place, other than it wasn't me. Misery washed over me. I caught my mom's eye and realized that we both had the same look of disappointment. I hadn't expected her to understand, winning State Fair ribbons left and right when she was a kid. Even though it was nice of her, I didn't want the pick-me-up ice cream and "You'll do better next year's". Even if I had gotten an honorable mention, it would have been better than this total public humiliation. I turned my attention back to the announcer. Even though I knew I hadn't won, I was still curious to see who did. "And this year's Ready, Let's Sew winner and State Fair participant is... MINI FRESH!" I gasped, and my jaw dropped. I had never really believed people's jaws dropped until then. After a moment of shock, my shocked look was replaced with a smile from ear to ear. I won! I won! I had beaten the odds and come out on top. I practically skipped up the runway to collect my ribbons. I was so happy. You can't possibly understand how happy I was. It was as though the world was perfect in that one moment, that one snapshot.


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