Black Tie Preferred

Are you one of those people that love to get dressed up and go to fancy balls? Me? Not so much. I thought balls only existed in Cinderella’s world, but recently my husband and I were invited to go to one.  The “Presidents Ball” no less, but before you get excited for me, it was not to meet Obama.  No, this was a Presidents Ball to meet the president of a local golf club.  A golf club that we are not members of as neither of us actually play golf, and trust me, the world is better for it!

Our tickets to the ball came from my bonus daughter and her boyfriend.  We had gone to their place for dinner a couple of weeks prior and someone casually asked us if we would like to go to this “dinner” at the club with them.  No big deal.  Well, anyone who knows me knows that after a couple of glasses of wine, I will agree to almost anything, the only problem is that I rarely remember exactly what I’ve agreed to.  And so that is why a couple of days before the event I was still completely unaware of it.  Luckily I had a reminder phone call late Thursday evening.  The ball was Saturday.

“How fancy is this thing?” I enquired.

“Oh, well…it’s no big deal, but you probably shouldn’t wear jeans,” was the first response.

Then she read out the invitation to me over the phone.  The honor of your presence is requested at the Belair Golf and Country Club, blah blah blah, meet the new President, blah blah blah, black tie preferred…

“WHAT?! Stop! Did you just say black tie preferred?”

“Oh…um, huh, I never saw that before…jeez good thing I read it out to you now.”

“I’ll say! There is quite a difference from “you probably shouldn’t wear jeans to black tie preferred!”

This is when I did a mental inventory of our (vacation home) bedroom closet.  One black dress that I haven’t worn in a year or two, but it might do.  Appropriate shoes? No, but there is time to get some. Ok, I might be ok.  Over to Johns side of the closet.  T-shirts, check.  Shorts, check. Jeans, check. Suit, nope. Tuxedo, definitely not.  This is going to be a problem.

The search for something appropriate for John to wear began.  Phone calls were made and suit jackets, dress pants and even one tuxedo were all on their way.  I tried on my little black dress only to discover that it was not so little and fit me like a potato sack.  I briefly considered adding some darts and taking it in along a seam or two when reality hit me and I remembered I’m not even that good at hemming pants let alone altering a whole dress.

No fairy godmother appeared with a new dress, so off I went to the closest discount clothing store to see what I could find.  I’m not going to go into great detail here but I will say that I found John a nice pair of black dress shoes for only $37…and my own new little black dress, high heels, clutch purse and fake diamond necklace and earrings, all came to about the same.  I rock!

I was feeling pretty stoked until I heard that one person in our party would be wearing a dress that cost $1000 and $350 shoes.  Instant deflate.  I’m going to look like little orphan Annie next to her, I thought.  I imagined that as soon as I walked into the golf club men and women would all stop talking and stare at me with pity.  Someone would whisper, “Oh, look at that poor woman in her $40 ensemble.  How sad.”

When we were finally ready to go, limousine idling in our driveway, my sweet husband told me I looked like a million bucks.  And after making sure all the tell tale price tags were snipped and gone, I relaxed into the evening feeling like I could pull it all off with ease.  What really mattered was that the handsome man next to me thought I looked great.

It turns out we blended right in to all the black and glitter and enjoyed a lovely evening.  I didn’t lose a shoe and even made it home by midnight, arm in arm with my prince.

The End.

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Women Who Have Shaped Me

Tomorrow is Mothers Day.  I’ve been thinking about my mom and how she has helped shape my life.  A mother is a powerful influence on her daughter in many far reaching ways.  Some positive, some maybe not so positive, but a mothers influence is very powerful never the less.

I’ve also realized there have been many other women who have had an influence on my life.  For a bit of fun I thought I create a list.

In order of when I was influenced by them, the following women made my list. Who is on yours?

My mom ~ She has taught me so much that I don’t even know where to start…so I won’t.  (I just saw a mothers day card that cracked me up.  It had a little girl sitting on a pottie on the cover, the inside said something like “thank you for teaching me so much, especially how to use the pottie – that one comes in handy every single day.”  Ha! )

My grandmother ~ She taught me how to find fun in the little things.  My grandmother was also a bit subservient to my grandfather and watching that made me determined not to follow in those footsteps when I grew up.

Lucille Ball ~ Watching the Lucille Ball show as a little kid I remember thinking how funny she was in her ridiculousness and how sweet it was that her husband always forgave her in the end.  I wanted to find a husband who could forgive me my silly mistakes too.

Cinderella ~ I cheered for her resilience.  She kept a good attitude even when people were being really mean to her.  I admired that all of her perseverance and hard work paid off in the end…which was really the beginning but I didn’t know that then.

Barbie ~ I imagined I would look like her one day, and that my future husband would look like Ken too.  I could hardly wait for the camper we would buy one day! (OMG, I just realized we have one that looks almost identical to the photo!)

Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) ~ She was a pretty single woman living alone in the city and working at a really cool job! Wow! Who knew!

Nancy Drew ~ This was one smart girl.  She could solve any mystery thrown her way.  I loved her!

Laura Ingalls ~ She was ferociously loyal to her family and adventurous.  I loved her spirit!

Kathryn Hepburn ~ She wore pants when other women didn’t. She was athletic.  I always admired her unconventional, straightforward attitude.

Tracy Westerholm ~ Tracy is someone I have admired and loved for over 30 years.  She has shaped my life in innumerable ways. It’s what happens when you are close to another woman since your teens.  We have shared all of the important milestones in each others lives and there is no doubt she will always be a big part of my life. Plus she makes me laugh… a lot!

Mother Teresa ~ For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries.  I watched her in awe my whole life.  If I could be just a fraction of what she was…

Princess Di ~ To me, she was the real-life Cinderella.  An ordinary girl becomes a princess…it could have been me!  My wedding dress was similar and so was my bouquet. Yikes! In the end I admired her for breaking tradition to find her happiness (and her charity work of course).

Madonna ~ She taught me you don’t need to be able to sing that well to become a famous singer.  Ha ha! She did get much better over the years (and after singing lessons). She was the first woman I ever saw re-invent herself again, and again, and again…
She was/is pure determination.

Oprah ~ I watched Oprah way back in the very early days.  There were some years when I tired of her shows, but then she started to change.  When I began watching again, I discovered that I was learning something new almost every time I tuned in.  Cool! There are not too many women who haven’t been able to relate to her at one time or another.

All my girlfriends ~ I know that every girlfriend that I have had over the years has taught me something.  I love how we support and learn from each other.  Thank you all past, present and future girlfriends!

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