So I went to a BALL last night.
Not a Gala. Increasingly, at least in Houston, galas are everywhere and are becoming more casual – cocktail attire, or even business at times.
But this was the Houston Ballet Ball which is most certainly still a ball. There are a line of valets ready to take your car and men in tuxes handing you roses as you leave. There is a photographer at the ready as you enter to snap your couple photograph, and there are white-gloved, silver tray-carrying servers with champagne and hors d’oeuvres at the top of the staircase.
In order to cast a reality lens on this endangered species in modern America, I offer this peek behind the curtain at my home.
Saturday afternoon I cooked hamburgers for lunch and my hair still smelled a little like them when I went to get ready. Prior to pimping and powdering, we played catch in the driveway and watched a back episode of Kids Baking Championship.
Then came the actual getting ready.
I’d bought my ball gown a year before on final sale (at nearly 80% off), but when it arrived it only looked good on the hanger. See, after you breastfeed/pump for triplets for 11 months, the girls never return to their pre-baby geography, so backless formal wear presents a serious problem. For me, it meant the gown was lovely only if I could get my chestal area further north from my stomach.
I’d given up on the gown and planned to sell it this year, but there it still hung right when I needed a full-blown ball gown. I figured since I worked with a bunch of engineers during the week, I could channel my inner engineer and invent a solution.
As prep time arrived, I warned my husband not to spontaneously enter the bedroom lest our romantic life be blown forever when he saw the combination of backless undergarments, duct tape, and what the retailers tactfully market as “shapewear.” (FYI – the duct tape works. Those pageant girls are on to something.)
After getting the chicken pot pie ready for the kids dinner, off I went to fluff and makeup and spray enough perfume and hairspray that no one would think we were having burgers at the ball.
We managed to escape amid kid hugs and kisses without significant staining on our attire, and hit the white carpet (in keeping with the theme).
It was fun to get all gussied up but the band was loud which made it hard for the hubby to hear any of the conversation and the room was packed which meant no leisurely strolling the premises. We did see our fair share of Houston celebrity and even bumped into some old friends. The food was mediocre but the company at our table was lots of fun (surely no one goes to these large-scale events for the food…). We left before the party got crazy because we had my mom babysitting and church the next morning, but we still got to kiss and hold hands like the good-ole-dates.
In an era of Pinterest perfect, I love finding ways to shine the light behind the night’s best photos and show the reality of what the evening (and day leading up to it) really look like.
(Not to mention giving hope to all the mommas who have nourished their babies and want to try a backless gown again!)