When I arrived, the hallway on the 9th floor was filled with (I assume) 125 people. Role was called. And then, the stunning news that 5 lucky people had been chosen by a randomization computer script to be on call. Meaning they could go home immediately and not even think about reporting again until a week later. At that point, they were to call the Magical Phone Number of Potential. They would likely learn that their service was complete!
The first name was called: a young, very overweight Latina. I decided she could use a break. I approved.
Then the second name: an older white man sitting way down at the end of the hall (indicating he had arrived early and prepared). He seemed humble and bookish, so I approved him too.
As each person passed me, I showed them I was genuinely happy for them (and I was! …. I was. Well, I was trying to be happy for them) by smiling and whispering, “Congratulations!!”
The third name: an oldish (60’s?) African American woman who smiled so big as I congratulated her that I thought she was going to hug me. Approved.
The fourth name: some dude standing in front of me whose last name started with G. Too close. Too emotionally searing. I did not approve. But I pretended I did, even as the hot tears filled my eyes. I never win anything, I sniffled to myself.
The fifth name: Allison Garwood. WHAT?! I gasped audibly. The crowd gasped audibly in reply. I looked at everyone and smiled and thanked them. And the band played some song as I walked carefully down the catwalk, trying not to offset the crown that had been placed precariously on my— oh wait, that’s Miss America. But there is no way Miss America is more excited to win than I was. Amazing and awesome.
Therrrrre she iiiiiis, Mrs. On Caaall Juror Eight-Oh-Nine-Fiiii-hiiiive…