A memoir- The New Ms. America

This was it. We finally had arrived at our destination. As we stepped out of our van, the heat hit all of us as the sun beat down on our then still white bodies. Four other cars were already parked next to us on the dusty white stones.

“The Madzsars are here!” I heard my aunt yell from the 2nd story of our rented out vacation house. A stampede of 16 skinny white legs came running down the stairs like an avalanche bombarding us with hugs and kisses. As I finally escaped my cousins, a brigade of aunts, uncles, and grandparents came and gave us a second round. Once all the embraces and warm welcomes were complete, I stepped back and looked up at the house we would be spending 10 days together in.

“Not bad at all,” I thought to myself while I covered my eyes from the sun’s strong rays to further take in my surroundings. The house was a typical vacation home. Light blue with white panels and creamy shutters. A staircase was connected to the side from the first level leading to the second. But who was I to complain about where I stayed on a fantastic vacation with some of my favorite people.

I ran up the stairs connected to the side of the sky blue house and walked into the upstairs to explore my future occupancy. Young and naïve, I left the adults to take care of the unpacking and wanted to jump right into all the promised fun. I opened the door and saw the kitchen, living room and dining room all connected like one large room. At first glance our habitat seemed small, but cozy with enough room to keep us all in comfort.

Everything there was bright. Large rectangular glass windows allowed the sun to flow in and hit the clean, white walls. Pictures of young children on the beach decorated the walls and became an initiator of a young girl’s mind to what would be awaiting them.

I continued on throughout the house, entering each interconnected room. From one room to the next, the beds became larger and rooms became more spacey. Each had several sets of windows which looked out onto beautiful scenery of the sunny, sandy beach and green and brown swaying palm trees. I peered out over the windowsill and began to dream about what the upcoming days would hold. Soft, white sand, clear blue skies, crashing and rolling waves, getting a nice, dark tan, having the wind...

“Julie! Julie, come down here and help.” I was pulled back to reality by a sharp tone only my mother could make and muttered at the thought of having to work instead of enjoying my soon-to-be easy going life. What help was I going to be when all I could think about were the activities planned in the near future.

One of these activities just so happened to be one of the most memorable times of my life.

“Hurry up we are going to be late!”

“Do you want to miss the show?”

“Let's move it!” A barrage of calls came to me as I threw on my deep blue halter top and matching skirt. I jumped into the car and wondered what it would be like the whole way there. Medieval Times repeated in my head the entire ride. At long last we arrived and ran up the path leading to the doors. The doors were massive, inscribed, elaborately decorated, dark, almost a mahogany color with a certain shine that hit the onlookers eyes as if coaxing them to enter, but not easily opened by one push from a small 8 year old. Thankfully, there were men standing there to help. I could not help but crane my neck to take another look at the porthole into the castle. The castle- that enormous, pure stone, perfectly replicated, lavishly embellished packed with tourists like myself castle. I felt such a rush to see the fanatic people pushing their way past one another, just as we planned to do. As we proceeded to walk along the part stone, part dirt walkway to our seats, we were crowned with a red and gold cardboard crown. I found out this meant we would be on the red and gold knight's team.

And so, quickly and disorderly, we pushed our way through the crowd and went to our designated red and gold seating section. Pure luck! We got the closest seats and I was dead center in the front row, as close as can be to the horse's rear that would be standing in front of me soon. I had to switch positions a few times to get somewhat comfortable in the thick wooden seats. I looked out over the arena that lay in front of me. Dirt covered the floor and a long, wooden post split two halves of the arena that was oval shaped. Seats began filling up and each section had banner of the knight colors over the onlookers’ heads.

I sat and sat, and it felt like forever. My excitement began to diminish as it felt like hours to begin the games until men in identical suits who walked around carrying large silver trays of food caught my eye and my nose as the scent of roasted meat hit my nose. I felt overjoyed at the thought of steamy pieces of nourishment gliding down my throat. I didn't realize how hungry I was until I saw the actual food. It was the perfect thing to keep my mind off the anticipation of the show. A man came to our row, carrying the food.

“Would you like to know what is on the menu?” he asked us kindly.

“Yes!” my cousins and I echoed in unison.

“Well the main course is dragon's legs, scales included, rabbit droppings, pheasant beaks…” the waiter said and went on naming various unpleasant foods that did not sound appetizing. However, they were delicious once we saw the dishes and found out that the dragon leg and scales was really a chicken with seasoned skin. In the middle of the grand feast after more courses were served, the knights were introduced. Once the red and gold knight was announced, we all stood up and cheered, and were easily the loudest group there. However, we found out very quickly that there were certain rivalries between the different knights. Ours in particular was very distinct. The blue and white knight always gave our knight thumbs down or booed him.

Finally, after what seemed literally like half the night, it was announced that the games would commence, beginning with the ring toss. The rings would be thrown up and the knights’ job was to catch as many as he could with his lance, while staying on his horse. We watched the games in complete and honest interest. Everyone's imagination stirred and a childlike joy erupted from all the parents. I felt a plain and simple joy. I was happy to be with people that mattered to me, happy to be full and content, and happy to watch exciting games, which I must say our knight was doing fairly well in. The games came and went all too quickly. The jousted, fought with real swords, trash-talked each other, and much more. Then, I found my knight about to enter the final competition, against our favorite competitor of course, the blue and white knight. Literally, my knight in shining armor stood before me on his horse. I cheered for him as loudly as I could and, apparently, he heard me. He turned to look at me, his enthralled spectator, not only to smile in appreciation, but he also held out his long lance right at my face. What was he doing? I was so confused and nervous I did not notice the red and gold ribbon that hung from the tip of the lance which was alarmingly longer than it looked when pointed at your face. I backed away from him, not knowing how to react, and just sat shrunk in my chair. People yelled things at me and the knight gave the lance a little thrust towards my face, and I worried my eyes would be punctured. Did he find this a joke or something? Oddly enough, the only thing I could think of at the moment was the line, “You’ll shoot your eye out”, from “A Christmas Story.”  My cousin than turned to me and yelled to take off the ribbon. I did what he said carefully, so as not to get jabbed, and the knight pulled the lance away. That ordeal was all soon forgotten in the heart of the final battle. The knights galloped towards each other, full speed on the floor of the battle arena. Each ran from opposite ends, separated by the long wood in the center. As quickly as the battle began, one lace crushed into the other knight’s shield. It was our knight! I thought we had won so I stood up and began to cheer, but was the only one to do so and quickly sat back down, a little red with embarrassment. They both got off their horses and began to fight on the ground with clinks and clanks of their swords. The suspense nearly killed me! Everyone was on the edge of their seats, waiting to see who the winner would be.

“C’mon, kill ‘em!”

“Ahh, go for his heart!” the crows chanted. Finally, after a hard fought battle, our knight won! In my eight year old mind, this was like winning the lottery. Luckily, the fun was not over yet. I felt a little tap on my shoulder and another man in costume told me to follow him. I looked at my parents, having learned no to go off with strangers, but they gave me the thumbs up, so I went with the strangely dressed man. He described to me what was to happen.  The red and gold ribbon our knight gave to me meant he picked me to be his maiden, and since he won, I would be crowned his queen. At first it sounded fantastic, but then he pointed to where I needed to go. My stomach jumped into my throat as the butterflies inside burned to get out. They lead me to the main stage, with the king, queen and my knight in front of everyone- the entire stadium! There I would be introduced as the new queen and taken away by my knight. I was led past a little curtain and, before I knew it, was the center of attention as thousands of eyes gazed upon me. The queen led me to my seat and announced me. I saw in between the king and queen and, as the knight began to speak, she asked me a few question which calmed me down like where I was from and who I came with. My knight came and gave me flowers and said I had to give him a kiss on the cheek.

“Ugh, how awkward,” I thought finding myself giving my knight a peck on the cheek in front of the huge crowd who clapped and whistled at the sight. At the time I did not know what this meant, but he told me the kiss was the rated G version of the consummation of our quick marriage. I was then crowned Queen of Love and Beauty and sat on the stage until the show was completely over. I was handed a sash to wear for the rest of night that said my title, Queen of Love and Beauty. I felt like I was the new Ms. America. My family waited for me and laughed, smiled, and congratulated the new royalty in the family.


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