Sunday, February 15, 2009

All dolled up

D. and I went to a Valentine's Ball last night. Black tie. I am not a black tie kind of girl. Actually, I'd probably be more at home in a tuxedo than in a floor length gown. I am most at home in jeans and a t-shirt though. Dressing up does not make me giddy. Make-up for an evening out doesn't excite me. I am a home body and a casual dresser. I was going to say I was shabby-chic but that's really just fancy talk for sloppy so I went for the more acceptable adjective casual. In any case, in addition to all of this, I am also an extreme introvert. This seems to surprise many of my closest friends so let me assure you that I am indeed a huge introvert. Just ask my family, who know that I'm more inclined to hide away from them for hours than to seek them out for interaction. So clearly a fancy ball is not my element but going and not complaining too hardily was my Valentine's present to D. yesterday. See the difference between us? He doesn't make a peep about me wanting to run a race and I reluctantly go to a ball that makes good business sense for him to attend. They do say opposites attract after all.

I managed to find a dress that still fits and didn't make me look too much like stuffed sausage (yes, I am such an accomodating--HA!--spouse I do have a few formal dresses in my closet from which to choose). I hadn't worn this particular dress before because it had been bought for our India trip before we were told that modesty was the name of the game there. Let's just say that this dress greatly highlighted twin assets and was therefore deemed (by me) inappropriate. I know this begs the question of why I bought it since I am uncomfortable with cleavage at the best of times (this is why I love sports bras: they mush down the overly generous chest area nicely, thank-you). In all honesty, I bought it because it was a loose and flowy lycra. Even better, it was cheap. As in less than $50 cheap and I refuse to spent scads of money on something I don't really want to be wearing anyway. But the loose and flowy came in mighty handy last night since the foundation garment has yet to be made that can conquer the bulges around my middle. I dragged out some black patent leather shoes I last wore for a friend's wedding (and she's been married for almost 11 years now) and a black pashmina to cover the exposed-by-the-dress bits and called my outfit done. Now I do love jewelry so that accessorizing was less problematic than actually dressing.

But the major stress was yet to come. I had to wear make-up. *Gasp* Given that I still have make-up left over from my wedding (and we have a child who is almost 12 and was not a honeymoon baby so you do the math), I am obviously not much of a make-up wearer. As I stood in the bathroom applying it, R. wandered in and said in sheer amazement, "Mom, you're wearing make-up?!" and proceded to ask when the last time I wore make-up was. D. answered, "When we got married." Strike two D.! (Strike one was telling me he needed me to go to this function in the first place.) Then T. wandered in and asked, "Mom, since you never wear make-up, how come you're so good at putting it on?" (Is it any wonder that he's a 6 year old Casanova with girls vying for his attention?!) I told him that since I had to do R.'s make-up for dance every year, I had learned a few things. W. is still in the ignoring girls phase and apparently mom is no exception but he did say I looked nice when his father questioned him directly. Of course, he also mocked D. for the tux and said that he didn't look at all like James Bond so I guess I got off easily. Make-up done, hair finished (how sad is it that the barrette in my hair was R.'s fake diamonte thing from last year's dance competitions?), and dressed to kill (especially if a breast popped out and impaled someone), we headed out the door. The neighbors caught sight of us and came over to get a good look. Their 14 year old daughter took one look at me and said, "Are you actually wearing make-up?" Apparently me in make-up is going to be a seven-day wonder around here but it shows you how unlikely it is for me to have it on. LOL!

We got to the ball and headed to the one couple I had met before. We stayed with them the entire evening. The ball was put on by the same folks who did the most ghastly Christmas party I had ever been to and while this was a better event, it was still dead boring. We timed our arrival to hit the end of the champagne cocktail hour and didn't have to wait too long until we were allowed into dinner. we're sitting at the table and steak dinners are being placed at almost everyone's place. Given that D. had asked me what meal he should RSVP for, I knew that I would be getting one too. Au contraire! Apparently someone had decided that the couple we were sitting with and I should get the vegetarian option--not that there had been a vegetarian option on the list D. read to me before replying. For the health and safety of all food servers out there, let me let you in on a special bit of advice: when a woman has already been coerced into a function she really wanted no part of, do not screw up her dinner order. We protested our dinners (and the pasta dish they gave us was not only unappetizing looking, it smelled badly) and our server headed off to get someone else to deal with us. I don't know if we ended up speaking to the manager or not but he said there were no more steak dinners as the group had ordered only a certain amount. Normally I am a shrinking violet about confrontation but I was not on my best game plan last night. I told him that that was completely unacceptable as we had RSVP'd for steak. He reiterated that there were no more steak dinners and that he could give us chicken instead if that would be okay. I told him that it wouldn't. And furthermore, I wondered why there were spare chicken entrees but no spare steak entrees. I must have looked increasingly belligerent (and I'd had nothing stronger to drink than water) because he said he'd find us steak but that it would take 20 minutes. I said that would be fine. After he left I looked at D., who knew I was hopping mad and said, "Maybe I should have told him 20 minutes is unacceptable as well because I don't like my steak well done." I think he cracked a sickly sort of smile at this, mentally calculating how many years he'll be paying for this. ;-) They found us steak meals in about 5 minutes so obviously someone was lying to me, which I still don't appreciate this morning. And I am unimpressed with the service given that I believe what should have been said when the mistake was discovered was, "I'm sorry. We'll make it right." Then they could take up the discrepancy with the group hosting after the fact. Instead, they got my hackles up and made me less likely to go to the event next year (okay, there was already no way in the world I'd be going next year anyway) or to ever eat at the resort again despite the fact that the steak was very good.

Dinner over, we sat through the dancing because D. not only has 2 left feet, but he can't march to a beat on either one of them. We did wander over to have our picture taken but I suspect that it will be rather frightening given the southward creep of and chill affecting the twin assests. Don't think I want a souvenir of the evening anyway! It was finally late enough to escape the ball and we headed home. I was grateful that all anatomical bits stayed mostly where they belonged in the dress and that the whole thing was over. D. was grateful that I didn't throw a full on tantrum over the dinner snafu. All in all, as successful as any fancy evening ever gets for us!


  1. Oh no! No pictures! I looked at the photographer's website and there will definitely be no publishing of pictures!


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