There she is...
In 1974, for Christmas, I got a Miss America Barbie doll.
I would've seen it in the Sears or Eaton's Christmas catalogue - that's where we got all our toys back then. There was no Wal-Mart, no Toys R Us, not even a Zeller's store within driving distance of our tiny town back then. They're all there now.
But I remember that I wanted it - bad. And on Christmas morning, there she was, with her flocked cape with fake ermine trim, and her tiara, and her sceptre. I think, looking back, it was the single most wonderful Christmas wish-come-true I can remember.
Somehow, living in a tiny fishing town in Newfoundland, Canada, Miss America meant something to me. Some kind of ideal. Did I see the pageant on TV? I can't remember. We only had 2 channels, both Canadian. But the pageant was broadcast worldwide. Somehow I knew who she was, and why I wanted that Barbie.
Tonight, for some masochistic reason, I am watching the 2010 Miss America pageant.
It's sponsored by Amway. Rush Limbaugh is one of the judges. And I just watched an ad for a pharmaceutical product that will help you grow more eyelashes.
God, does a fall from grace get any worse than this? A brand, an ideal, trampled beneath a stiletto heel, into the mud.