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Miss NM Saloon Girl Contest a Stunning Success!

Confessions of a Contestant

- Anonymous

"The day before the Annual Saloon Girl Competition I found out the dang boots simply no longer would fit. They always were a bit iffy, but after a couple of years of intense yoga, “grounding myself” and “spreading my toes to create balance,” my feet have widened.

Luckily I hadn’t built my whole Saloon Girl costume/performance around the boots.

Yes, I entered the competition. I was all in. I researched how to make an 1870’s bustle skirt. I borrowed a feather boa fro friend, found a long pair of black gloves I forgot I had – a keepsake from my 1969 prom that I didn’t expect to wear again. I was ready. Then, I learned that thirteen other women had entered the competition. In years past, the organizers were lucky to get two. There would be real competition this year.

But I was already all in. I decided to adjust my comedy routine about the joys of menopause and smoking weed... That would give me some additional places to interact with the audience. But I had doubts. Really, am I funny? The reviews from my previous forays into comedy say I am. So I went for it.

Today was the day. My dear friend Rosie helped me get into my costume and drew the obligatory “Miss Kitty” mole on my cheek, and I walked downtown, carrying one of my too- tight boots that would now be a tip jar – $1 dollar per hug.

Everyone looked fabulous and we took a ton of publicity shots all over the Saloon and up in the old whorehouse upstairs.

The first gal who performed, kicked up a storm on stage, and sang her heart out. At the end, she did a shot of whiskey, and threw the shot glass across the stage, where it broke into pieces. Wow – dramatic.

That set the bar really high. Meanwhile, I worked an maintaining my confidence by garnering $57 (& 36 cents) in tips with my hugs.

After the worm-in-the-tequila shots, the rest of the evening went by in a blur.

The band, also dressed in period costume, entertained us with lively songs while the judges conferred. There was no point in worrying about the outcome, it was all designed to just be a real good time!

If you missed it this year, I’m sure you’ll NOT want to miss the next!"

Photos Courtesy of Jackie Parnell

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