Paarl resident Tamaryn Green was this weekend named Miss SA, and while friends, family, Western Cape locals and most of the country was lauding the medical student for her achievements, a small minority were wondering how in this day and age we could still be celebrating something as archaic, and fundamentally wrong as Paarl. Apparently, Tamaryn took home Miss SA, and Miss Universe South Africa, while the runner-up Thulisa Keyi won the Miss World SA title, which makes about as much sense as the fact that these things exist in the first place. Doesn’t being the best in the universe also necessitate being the best in the world? Tamaryn is the best in the universe from South Africa.
Being the best in the universe from South Africa must feel like a special achievement, even to someone who is going to become a doctor one day, and whose old boyfriends are currently clamouring to be recognised on Twitter. That’s the kind of respect I crave, and as such, I started investigating whether or not 2019 could be my year to become Miss SA. It seems not. While at first, I was excited, “You must have no visible tattoos or criminal record”, my hopes were quickly dashed by the fact that you can be no older than 27 and must have never been married. So I started looking at the requirements for the notoriously low budget, old people’s version of the competition “Mrs South Africa”. Again I am afraid I struck out. While I am between the ages of 24 and 49, and like to think I am “A role model for married women in our country” I am unfortunately not “Beautiful inside and out”, “Hard working and ambitious” or “A strong, successful woman”.
Probably the best part about being the best in the universe from South Africa for anything is that when you die you are guaranteed to get a mention in a newspaper. Some journalist who hasn’t even been born yet will smash out a quick 200 words on the fact that you won, had three marriages, eleven kids, and died walking into the sea. It must be a comfort to her to know that the sooner she dies the longer the story will be.
At 39 I am already too old to be Miss SA and other doors have shut on me permanently too. For starters, I have missed the 27 club by more than a decade. Johann Ackerman was 37 when he became the oldest person to ever play rugby for the Springboks, meaning my total lack of interest or sporting talent are no longer the only things excluding me from the green and gold. I will never be a child prodigy and unless Prince Phillip dies soon I will also never be likely to marry into the British Royal Family.
No, I am afraid the only way left to me to guarantee myself a spot in the newspaper when I die is to form a suicide cult. So if you aren’t doing anything else send your cult application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sadly, fellow old people, applications are restricted to those who are young, beautiful, and not from Paarl.