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Genetics and fractions can be so confusing..

We all have our shame……we all have done something in our lives that we hope never to have to revisit. Or if we do, then to revisit it as infrequently as possible.

My shame? I was in what is known in some circles as a “Scholarship pageant”. It came about because someone suggested it and I said, like I always do, “Yes”.

To the shock of everyone, I won (trust me EVERYONE was shocked but no one was more shocked than I). However along with this honor comes the obligation to return every once in a while.

Unfortunately, the amazing lady that coordinated the international trips, meetings with diplomats and acted as our chaperone for the year passed away last month. I her honor there was a tribute to her memory and they invited all past queens to come (sashes only, no crowns please) and be part of the tribute. And because this woman was amazing in general and especially to me while I was Queen, I decided to attend.

The next few posts for this blog will be some excerpts from the evening:

Here is a brief conversation I had with a girl at the event.

A girl walked up to me and asked me if my brother was at the event. I told her that he was not and then I congratulated her on her recent marriage a few months back.

“Thanks”, she said,” Now we’re trying for a baby”.

“That’s great”.

“But it’s weird you know? Cause my husband isn’t Portuguese and I always thought that I would marry someone who was, so that our kids would be purebred”, she said.

“What?” I asked, surely I heard this wrong. Maybe never having used the term purebred in reference to anything other than dogs is what led to my confusion.

“Yeah, you know? I just can’t believe my kids won’t be Portuguese”, then she looks at me, “I just never though that I would ever not have purebred kids”.

“Purebred?” I asked.

“Yeah, you know 100% totally Portuguese”, she said in earnest,” Cause that’s the best. You know what I mean?”

“I don’t know, you’re sounding rather German to me” I said half under my breath.

“Oh no, I’m not German, I’m pure Portuguese”, she rushed to assure me. “Are you Portuguese?”

“Well, I won this contest” I reply in a joking manner gesturing to the sash I was wearing (it is a requirement for this particular pageant that a contestant have Portuguese heritage no matter the degree, or, to use this chicks definition, “purebred-ness”)

“You are?” she asked in confirmation

“Yes, I’m half”.

“So you’re full purebred Portuguese.”

“Um…has the definition of half changed?”, I asked cause really, I couldn’t believe she was serious with this line of questioning

“No, I don’t think so”, she said with all seriousness (Maybe this gene pool could benefit from some new blood?)

“Ok, then I am 100% half Portuguese”, I said.

I wait a minute as I literally see the girl try to figure out what I just said. “So, you’re almost full” she said.

She follows up with “Is your husband Portuguese?”

“No, he’s not” I replied

“That’s so sad, your kids won’t be Portuguese either”, she said shaking her head sadly.

“What?”, I said reflexively, thinking I missed part of the conversation. (Had I blacked out for a moment and missed something?)

“Well, since our husbands aren’t Portuguese neither will our kids”, she said.

“No, your kids will be Portuguese….” I trailed off. She kept shaking her head sadly and I decided that this was going nowhere. Eventually I was able to extricate myself from our conversation and snuck off to a different part of the room.

Next post, the pageant itself…

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