Thursday, June 21, 2007

Oh For The Love…!

On the Miss Ohio message board, under the same post in which I was called out for wrongly taking photos at the finale, someone wrote:

“Besides myself and about 100 other people-who wishes Abby would just be seen and not heard? Actually I'm growing tired of seeing her. Abby-you are a lovely girl but I think the fact that you CONTINUOUSLY try to live vicariously through Miss Ohio is becoming tiresome for the rest of us. But I did love the great pics.”

I’m not going to respond directly to this poster on the message board because A. after only two replies I said I was done responding on that thread, because… B. I don’t want to be a part of fostering negative conversations on that volatile forum when we have a new Miss Ohio we should instead be supporting.

I will, however, respond here, because this is my blog, with which I can do whatever I want! :)

A few things are running through my mind… the first of which is, "seen and not heard?!?!" What? Am I a child? And forgive me for not being humble, but yes, I think I have earned my place to share my educated opinion.

I don’t exactly understand why someone is so sick of little ol’ me… Someone else agreed to the derogatory posting, saying “Abby, butt out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” But I don’t know where exactly I butted in any more than anyone else. I can’t force anyone to log on and read this blog; I assume those who don’t like me or what I post here don’t make this site a regular internet visit.. and that’s fine by me. Other than this, I went to a few pageants this year and recently signed my name to a few posts on a message board…

I gave away my last crown this past fall, and attended three other closed locals (which are “local” to me) as well as the always exciting sweetheart pageant. So I guess I was at a quarter of the pageants, but most other “pageant regulars” were not at those closed locals and I’m not going to apologize for attending to support the program, my friends and in a couple cases, my former titles. It’s not like I’m inundating the system as an emcee and/or entertainer… although those are two things I can do (wink * wink).

Perhaps they’re sick of seeing my name because I actually signed it a whopping three times in one week on a message board that is almost exclusively anonymous. The reality is, it’s probably the same 20 or 30 people who consistently post on the board, it’s just that name-signing is a rarity.

Never mind why someone felt the need to say they’re sick of me, I’m more bothered by the idea that I “CONTINUOUSLY try to live vicariously through Miss Ohio.” That doesn’t even make sense considering this is the first year I haven’t vied to be Miss Ohio! (And I'll likely try the Ohio USA system again if I'm around this fall.)

As I mentioned at the start of Miss Ohio week, because I competed for so long, this first year of not competing came with many emotions. Now that I am aged out there is a certain amount of relief to not have to be “pageant perfect.” On the other hand, I am sad to no longer be with my Miss Ohio friends and family for a week in Mansfield and it is frustrating to look back and think about what I would have done differently in order to be more successful. I will admit that my continued involvement as a news source with this blog has served as a coping mechanism. But I completely disagree with the idea that I am, or have ever tried to live vicariously through the reigning Miss Ohio.

This program has become a norm in my life and that of my parents and close friends. I am not living vicariously; I am living my life and this program happens to have become a big part of it. I know several contestants; I’ve even helped some and lent clothing. I suppose in a few years when I don’t know the contestants I may become distant from the program, or Loren and I may start a local; while I was still competing we talked about being EDs and even what we might call our program. Eric and Linda Wagener would like me to help with their program, and I have agreed IF I am still in this area. I want to stay involved, but hopefully my career takes me out of Toledo.

To call me a bad wanna-be journalist would be more accurate, but living vicariously I am not. In my defense, someone else on the message board noted that former contestants who do not continue to participate are criticized, yet my presence has garnered me the same negativity. That’s the thing about message boards, it’s a place for everyone to post their opinions, and you can never make everyone happy… Oh well.


  1. Abby,
    I am so sorry that you are having to deal with all of the crap on the voy board. Don't listen to it, we appreciate your posts and I for one look forward to hearing what you have to say. Keep up the good work and the nay sayers will go away.

    Jenny Jeffery

  2. Abby, I love you and I think your continued presence is an asset for current contestants. Don't let a few negative comments get you down. Your wisdom is always appreciated!

  3. Hey Abby -

    This is completely off the subject, but I would be interested to see/know the going rate for pageant coaches these days, especially in the Miss Ohio system. I think it would be an interesting article.

    A faithful reader in Ohio

  4. Thank you so much Jenny and Allie! Your kind words mean a lot to me and I value them a hundred times more than the anonymous negativity. I understand the functionality of the message boards and sometimes it’s good to have a place to freely voice your opinion, but sometimes it becomes so hateful, I don’t understand why the poster is even interested in the program… it just doesn’t make sense. But people like the two of you make it worth weeding through the crazies! lol!

    About the rate for Ohio coaches… There are a few women I know of who coach Miss America system women and to the best of my knowledge they do it for free. Of course, there is often some sort of previous affiliation or relationship in place. In Ohio MAO this is kind of a taboo topic, which I personally find stupid. When I competed at Ohio USA last year, however, women would blurt out “My coach this…” and “My coach that…” like it was no big deal. My assumption is that in the USA system the coaches are paid. I have no grounds for why I thought that, just an assumption.

    I’ll do some digging and consider writing about that. If you’re actively trying to find a coach, send me an email and I can give you a more detailed answer. (I don’t want to start throwing names around, especially if they do not charge.)


  5. hey abby- don't listen to them!! I feel soo bad for everyone who gets torn apart on that board! You are so beautiful and have a wonderful personality and look at how much you are doing in your life!!!!! Jealousy is not attractive on anyone and that is probably what it is. I also heard from my mom wou were at bike to the bay :) I wanted to go but today was my birthday and I am getting ready to leave for nationals. keep up the great work and ignore the ignorance on that board!

  6. Hey Jamie,

    Happy late birthday! I hope you had a great day.

    Yep, "the face" kicked off of the MS Bike to the Bay... they had me at the starting line with a megaphone sending the riders off in 5 minute waves. Loren and I would have participated but I was committed to sing at a friends wedding...

    Good luck at nationals! Email me the details or a website or something and I'll write a post about it here.

    Thanks for the comment. :)


  7. Hi Abby,
    People who make negative comments just want to be you. When the Miss Ohio website was a mess, I got information from yours. When I would have given up (and did), you persevered. I used to run around with the winners and actually got some of them involved. That was my niche and am still doing it 35 years later. Communicating is yours and you should keep it up.
    Life creates experiences that you can share with others and that's what we both do. Keep sharing your knowledge--I am not too old to still learn a thing or two--and can share with others. Keep that giving spirit alive and help us all do a better job. (Susan wants your e-mail address.)
    Nancy Mabrey, Recruiter/coach
    and an "Old Contestant 70's Style"
    Miss West Central Ohio Pageant


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