Behind She Said, She Said

By Katherine James

I travel.

A lot.

So I run into a lot of other people who are checking into the same hotel I am checking into.  Mostly they are just run of the mill folks who are traveling for business…  But every once in awhile I walk into a full blown event of such immense import and proportion to the folks involved that it takes the breath away.

Just last week I walk into an entire convention of Elvis impersonators in Indiana.

Not noteworthy for the Elvises, but certainly for the wedding party who had just come in for their small and dignified reception and had not expected to be there with all those Blue Suede Shoes.

Talk about looks of shock and awe.

The inspiration for She Said, She Said comes from just another Bat Town and another Bat Hotel.

A number of years ago I am somewhat exhausted and walking into The Omni in Dallas in the late afternoon.  I whoosh through the revolving door and into…

A beauty pageant for girls 12 and under.

I did not know such things even existed (this was 1996 –  way before Toddlers and Tiaras).

There are endless hysterical children, insane mothers, racks of dresses, demanding “officials” — and a check in line of about 60.  It is like landing in the middle of Munchkinland but through the prism of Rabbits On Acid.  I am clearly THE ONLY PERSON IN THE ENTIRE OMNI who is not a part of this circus.

I line up behind a woman in her early 20’s. She looks like a Stepford wife except for the horrible haircut and paunch. She is carrying a six month old baby who is peacefully sleeping through all of this insanity.  She is incredulous that I have no clue about this world – for a moment or two I, too, doubt my credibility as a true American.

More women with small girls line up behind me to check in.

I am in some bizarre sandwich.

I ask the gal in front of me why she put her six month old daughter into this beauty pageant.

She laughs maniacally.  “It wasn’t my idea. It was hers. She told me the day she was born that she wanted to be a pageant girl.”

The lunatic behind me nods and smiles, “Oh, yes! Mine, too! That’s exactly what she said!”

It’s amazing what you can learn as you stand between two crazy young women who are talking over you in a 60 person check in line at The Omni for what can’t be more than an hour but which seems like a lifetime.

I keep this memory…pondering it in my heart like The Virgin Mary…knowing that someday…somewhere…it is going to become a play…

And now those two gals have, God Bless America, morphed into the characters in She Said, She Said.


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