There she is, a potential Miss USA

from: Michael O'Rourke

"There she is, a potential Miss USA. There she is, your ideal. The dreams of a million girls who are more than pretty," I sang in my head, "may come true in the Alamo City." I knew it was the song from that other pageant, but I was trying to make the lyrics fit the situation.

The cause of my impromptu, mental, musical tribute to Bert Parks was the sight of a Miss USA contestant deplaning at San Antonio International Airport this week.

I knew because she was wearing a sash.

"With so many beauties, she'll take the town by storm with her all-American face and form."

It was a shocking experience. I had no idea I knew all the words to the Miss America song.

She was tall, thin, very pretty and Miss New Something. The jacket she was carrying, folded over her arm, blocked the York, Hampshire, Mexico or Jersey part of the sash.

For a split second I was going to welcome her to San Antonio. I like split seconds. They give you just enough time to weigh your decisions and change your course of action. In that split second I decided it was a little too creepy for a near 40-year-old man to go out of his way to make small talk with a near 20-year-old beauty contestant. Hell, why not offer her candy while I was at it?

In the next split second I pictured Miss New Something asking Miss North Something, "Did a creepy guy at the airport hit on you?"

"I know, wasn't he gross? Did he offer you candy?"

The imagined conversation ended with lots of giggling.

I also decided to keep my comment of, "Hey, nice sash!" to myself for fear of being misheard and possibly slapped.

We did make eye contact. The timing of that eye contact, however, was less than ideal.

I don't see pretty girls wearing sashes every day. Not when I'm awake anyway. So I knew I would be telling people my story of seeing a Miss USA contestant at the airport. The first question they would ask is, "Which one?"

With her jacket blocking the York, Hampshire, Mexico or Jersey of her sash I would only be able to narrow it down to four. If I could somehow just see the first letter of the second part of the state name I'd know. All I needed was to see a Y, an H, a J or an M and my riddle would be solved.

So I extended and craned my neck just a bit so I could get the perfect angle to discover what state the contestant represented. It didn't work. Her jacket was eclipsing my view.

That is when we got eye contact.

I looked up to see Miss New Something was looking at me. I gave her a friendly smile then, in a split second, had a horrific realization.

Miss New Something was already looking at me when we got eye contact. That means she saw me craning my neck. That means she saw my eyes perusing her sash. But she probably didn't realize her jacket was covering the York, Hampshire, Mexico or Jersey. She may not even have remembered she was wearing a sash.

That's right. Miss New Something thought I was just checking her out.

For a split second, I wanted to explain. I wanted to tell her my interest was purely geographical and not anatomical.

Cutting my losses, I walked away.

I'm just glad I didn't say, "Hey, move your jacket so I can see."



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