I had a wonderful memory spark today thanks to Melodie, bloggeress of Pink Vintage Cupcake. Her Thursday post, Dream Job, was sweetly filled with her girldhood dreams of what she would do when she grew up. One of her dreams was to be an Azalea Trail Maid.
This sparked my own memory of growing up in Lower Alabama (LA) and wanting to be one of Dothan's Azalea Dogwood Trail maidens, done up in flouncy, pastel colored antebellum gowns. Oh how I wanted to be a part of that so badly!
(Photo by Denise Oliver of the Daily Kos. Weirdly, there are no Google pics of Dothan's Azalea Dogwood maidens, just the Mobile Azalea Trail Maidens.)
What I didn't know was that not just anyone can be one of Dothan's trail maidens. According to the Azalea Dogwood registration, these girls participate in a *chokes* pageant! I had no idea! I always thought I could just sign up, get a dress and stand on a street corner of the Azalea Dogwood trail with my parasol and wave at the cars driving by. Now that I've done some digging, I know that I would never have made it as one of Dothan's Azalea Dogwood Trail Maidens.
According to the registration form, to be qualified as a trail maiden one must be a girl who lives in Houston County and goes to school in the City of Dothan or Houston County is eligible. I went to school at Enterprise High School in Coffee County. Dang it. My former dream just got a small crack in it.
She must carry a "C" or above scholastic average and be of good moral character. I have good moral character, but my grades in high school were abysmal! I was a horrible student. I was so bored in high school and I was really, really bad at math.
Contestants must not be married or pregnant and have never been married nor had a marriage annulled nor given birth to a child. Oh my. I didn't realize that this needed to be stated. Then again, this is Alabama...
Also a specific dress is required, which makes sense since this is the Azalea Dogwood Trail Maiden Pageant! Not any old pageant dress will do, Miss Alabama and your strange troupe of Little Miss, Little Miss Teen, Miss Teen, and Miss Little Teen Miss Teen Little companions.
(Why yes, that is a baby. I have no idea what her talent was.)
Requirements, also from the registration form: **DRESS: ANTEBELLUM GOWN - HOOP, AND A PARASOL (required) Judging will be based on poise, appearance, and authenticity.
I would so not have made it on poise as my body continues to think that we are not on earth but on a planet closer to the sun and gravity often pulls me down (I'm extremely clumsy). I'm pretty certain that my authenticity wouldn't be the authenticity that the pageant officials require. One thing I learned growing up in Enterprise is that being your authentic self means to throw on an even thicker and super fake Alabama accent, tell people, "Bless your heart!" and then gossip about them when they walk away. Real authenticity. Of course not everybody acted this way, just the ones who participated in pageants. Hrmm...interesting!
What a bizarre post. Maybe there is a part of me that really did want to be in pageants; but the Janeane Garofalo in me held me back and would have never allowed me and my Payless Shoe Store version Doc Martens to go to the registration table and sign up.