You could also call this: "Competition In Today's Society." Whatever fits your narrative.
  1. One day last year, my kids and I heard tell of a Mardi Gras Shoebox Parade.
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  2. Even though we weren't sure EXACTLY what was involved, it definitely smacked of "real life shrunken down to a tiny fairy tale," which is both my jam AND my aesthetic.
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    A shoebox parade is just an event where you craft miniature floats from shoeboxes. Fun, right?!
  3. It was Friday, and since the parade (and contest) was the very next day, we had no choice but to get to work. In fact, we spent our entire evening in preparation. Did we even stop for dinner? I don't think so.
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    Not all meals are eaten with a fork.
  4. What we created was a float that surpassed even our own expectations. Our theme? RETRO MARDI GRAS.
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  5. We made paper dolls. We adorned with feathers.
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  6. We dragged out a Christmas ornament. A palm-tree cake topper. A mermaid. Cardboard letters. Sparkly confetti. A plastic baby! The humanity!
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  7. I even UPCYCLED MY FAVORITE PAIR OF UNDERWEAR.
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    #noregrets
  8. And added a musical element:
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  9. Do you see this tab? When you lift it, this greeting card plays a HARRY, CONNICK, Jr. song!
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    Recycled greeting card FTW!
  10. You know--Harry Connick, Jr. Who lives in Louisiana?
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  11. Yes, I know Harry didn't write "It Had to Be You." That was Gus Kahn. MOVING ON.
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  12. We arrived Saturday morning feeling confident.
  13. We surveyed the competition. STILL confident. 💅🏻
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  14. Double-decker? Try again.
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  15. Oh, a "Frozen" float? Yawn.
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  16. Yeah, you're cute. But what does cute have to do with it?
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  17. We paraded. We showboated.
    Okay we actually didn't do either because our float didn't have wheels.
  18. And when it was time for the judges to hand out the awards, we were sure we'd won. Or at least take the award for "Prettiest." Only—
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  19. 🎙"This year, our contestants did such a good job that we've decided to give EVERYONE A PRIZE! You ALL win!"🎙
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    A cheer went up among the crowd.
  20. My children, however, looked at me in disbelief. This couldn't be.
  21. "B-b-b-but MOM!" They were devastated. And I totally get it. It was a let-down. We'd worked really hard, and we came to win, or at least compete.
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  22. I'm not raising heathens, though. When they walked up to receive their fake awards, I made sure they shook hands and thanked the judges for the opportunity.
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  23. And then we drove home, stopping for donuts so we could eat our feelings, which were delicious.
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  24. But not even tall glasses of chocolate milk could quell the fire of their righteous indignation--which continues to burn, even to this very day.