Saturday was a busy day for us. After participating in the Fort Bliss Turkey Trot, Stephen and I got beautified and attended our very first Army Ball!
Stephen’s unit in Germany held a ball after their deployment in 2012, but it took place a month before I moved there. While in Deutschland, Stephen got to attend a German ball in Munich with his fellow soldiers, but it was dudes only. I’m not sure how frequently balls normally take place, but after 4 years of his service and no ball, I was over the moon about finally getting the chance to attend!
There were a few false starts (ticket issues lasting months, and a meltdown on my part the way to get my hair done), but eventually everything came together.
I bought my dress at Cache after my mom suggested looking there. I loved how flattering and comfortable it was. I would have liked something other than black, but it just so happens that the dress I liked best hands down was black. I opted to get my hair and make-up professionally done since I’m utterly worthless in those arenas. The Blow Dry Bar did a great job with both. I envisioned my hair being bigger (hey, I’m a Texan), but what’s a small bun in the grand scheme of things? I really loved the dramatic eye liner and fake eyelashes. (Although, I worried I’d have a Lucille Ball moment from the movie Yours, Mine and Ours. In the movie, her fake eyelash falls into a beverage while she’s on a date. The movie is an oldie, but one of my favorites! And luckily my eyelashes didn’t budge all night.)
Of course, he wore his uniform. It takes a lot of work for the soldiers to get their dress blues exactly right, so Stephen went to work on it in advance. It sure looked good to me! The blue cord going under his arm is his infantry cord, which I helped put on him at Basic Training graduation (in 2011!). The silver cord across the front is called a Schützenschnur, which he earned in Germany. I couldn’t tell you what 90% of the rest of the stuff on his uniform is. :) He got a fresh hair cut the day before, and he look smoking!
The ball was one part pomp and one part wild party. It started with presenting of the colors, toasts, a wonderful tribute to a soldier who was killed on the deployment, and dinner. Dinner was excellent, by the way. Pasta for me, and steak or chicken for the meat eaters. Plus a salad to start and cheesecake for dessert!
That portion of the evening, as expected, was tame. But as the night went forward and the drinks keep flowing, the festivities devolved into sheer craziness. I got a firsthand look at grog. A huge bowl/small trough is filled with random alcohol of all kinds, each addition holding some sort of significance. (Fire whisky to represent napalm and the battalion’s role in Vietnam, champagne because we are the finest soldiers, and so on.) I think maybe 10 different types of alcohol were combined. Then everyone drank it!
Not me. I was the designated driver, but even if I wasn’t, it would not have touched my lips. There were things floating in that grog.
We spent the rest of the evening chatting, drinking, and dancing. We learned that Stephen can’t hula hoop, and I can’t two-step. There was even a photo booth with goofy props and free pictures that kept us occupied. Late into the night, the music eventually stopped, the lights came back on, and I couldn’t believe that I was still awake! We hung around a little longer before making the drive home.
At the end of the night, still in one piece.
I’m so glad we finally got the chance to attend a ball together! I had a blast! Even though I didn’t know most of the people there, I loved seeing everyone dressed up (and dressing up myself), people watching, playing, dancing, and generally having a damn good time. I think we definitely need more than 1 ball every 4 years, but I also know that I’ll need a while to recover from this one!