Getting Engaged = Pageant Winner

There are a lot of people out there wondering about this grand concept of marriage. They particularly want to know if they can get married within six months if I judge by this blog’s search engine stats.

I don’t know that a six-month time frame is wisest for all people, but in light of all this interest, today I’d like to talk about why entering the dating pool is like being in a beauty pageant.

There are a lot of people competing for the same prize.  Everywhere you look there are people trying to catch the eye of the judges.  They primp, they preen, and they snuggle up for one-on-one conversations.  What’s amazing is the massive variety of pageants available – and it may be that you’re competing for Miss Crawdad when you ought to be competing for Princess of the Cupcake.  Figuring out which competition to throw your hat into is a significant choice.

In pageants and dating, serious self-scrutiny helps to decide which title you’re fit to hold.  The ones who really win realize they only need to be themselves – in their chosen arena – and let the other competitors fade into the background.

You find yourself doing things you would never do in real life to earn points.  What person would willingly put Preparation H under their eyes or hairspray their unmentionables to their unmentionable?  Yet pageant girls do this all the time.

And we shouldn’t judge – in what world would normal people go bungee-jumping off a bridge for their fist kiss? (a la Jake and Vienna, the Bachelor relationship that went so wrong Jake was seen sprinting from a party where Vienna appeared last week.  Like The Viewers of America Didn’t See That One Coming.)  Suddenly you’re on a date eating sushi when you have a shellfish allergy thinking, “Hm… I wonder if they’ll ask me out again?”

What was once a definite “No!” becomes an, “OK, I’m game!” in the name of romantic zest.

You psych yourself out.  True story.  When I was dating my soon-to-be Prince Charming we kissed one night and… well, there’s no good way to say this… we were enjoying each other’s company and he burped in my mouth.  I was shocked into laughter and he’s sheepish about it to this day.  But I married him, happily!

I watch pageants to see the one girl who falls flat on her face or drops the flaming baton.  Glimpsing the reality of the human condition is exhilarating and lovely.

In dating and in pageants you get scared that your mistakes are deal breakers… but usually they make you more endearing and approachable.  (Let me clarify… mistakes that aren’t sociopathic and felonious make you more attractive.)  It doesn’t make sense to psych yourself out and give up when you hit a bump in the road – your display of reality can’t be crippling!

Just get up and go back out.  My husband has never burped in my mouth since.  (But once, about a year ago, I burped into his.  It was embarrassing.  I got over it and he loves me still.  Good story.)

What ways do you think dating is like competing in a pageant?

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