“You’ve been selected as the winner!” Kelly told me, excitement in her voice.
What do you imagine I’d think at that moment? Uh huh, right…no. I was a touch peeved. They were supposed to pick my friend Heather. Why didn’t they?
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Heather started it. She came across a flyer for a Mother’s Day Makeover Contest. (“We are looking for a deserving Centre County Mom over the age of 18 to win her own “Extreme Makeover”) It would bestow one lucky mom with a gargantuan list of prizes. It was just like What Not to Wear but without the cameras hovering in your face as someone throws away your clothes and insults you. At least, I hope it’s without; the clothing makeover hasn’t happened yet. Everyone with the contest has been genuinely sweet.
The prize list is mind-boggling and long. (http://www.premierpromos.net/pdf/Mothers_Day_Makeover_Flyer2.pdf)
But near the end of this list is a prize that screamed my name: housecleaning. Heather saw that prize and I popped in her mind. I moan about struggling with housecleaning all the time. She only needed to write a 300 word essay telling them why I deserved the makeover. Luckily for me she is an English professor, a writer (4 novels), a blogger (livewithflair.blogspot.com), and an all around cheerleader. She loves to brag about her friends, kids, husband, and students) to whomever is standing next to her. It does not matter who is standing there, she will tell anyone under the sun about the greatness in you. There will be a lot of Heather in this story.
So she wrote an essay about me and my 100 pound weight loss (she exaggerates—it’s only 90 lbs) and how I started a neighborhood fitness group (To which I ALWAYS say, “No, you started it!” And she replies, “No, if you hadn’t loved the idea it would never have happened.” Whatever. She started it.) She wrote about how I overcame a bunch of hardships to get where I am now. I’m not sure what those hardships are yet, I haven’t read the essay. I can’t wait to find out what they are. My hardships are the problems of the incredibly blessed: I can’t get my kids to do things the third time I ask, I have too much work to do, my house is a mess, I don’t have enough time to do art. What kind of problems are those? I have healthy happy kids, I have a job when some don’t, I have a house when some don’t, and I’m talented but don’t make the time to use my gifts. I shouldn’t complain, but only God knows why I do.
She attached a picture, sent off the essay, and then told me about the contest. She said I’d totally win. I thought if they knew about her, she’d win. So I wrote and submitted my own essay about how great she is, thinking she’d outshine everyone. If you know her, you know she is lit with love and enthusiasm. Like, way beyond anyone you’ve ever seen. How could she not win?
A couple weeks later I got a voicemail message from Kelly at Premier Promotions. The message just said to call her back. The thought electrified me; Heather had won! How cool! She’s going to flip!
When I got on the phone with Kelly from Premier Promotions she explained the contest. I fidgeted in my seat, waiting for her to say Heather had won. And then she didn’t.
“And you’ve been selected as the winner!” Kelly told me, excitement in her voice.
Dumbstruck. Then peeved. No, that can’t be right, I thought. My mind worked to right itself. Luckily, Kelly kept talking. She talked about Business Networking International (BNI for short), the organization that created the contest. She told me about Bridge of Hope, a charity for homeless mothers in Centre County, who would receive the proceeds from the “Unveiling party” cover charge and silent auction. She told me about some of the prizes. I already remembered the big ones: the one-year membership to Curves, the Smile Makeover. (This is from Carnicella & Associates. Three words: Massaging Dental Chairs!)
It became clear she was talking to me as the recipient. She was asking me when I could meet the next week to get the ball rolling on my Smile Makeover since that took time. I made the appointment and something started to grow in me: