This weekend, my Bride and I went to the Ball. A for-real and true ball, with for-real and true evening gowns, black ties, the whole deal. Except the ball room dancing. Even though we brushed the dust off our three and a half years of ballroom dance lessons (we still have our third place ribbon for the Central Savannah River Area open Waltz competition - bite me Richard Gere), the dancing turned out to be more like all your bad memories of prom, with a cover band specializing in the UK hits of the early 70's.
Still, the whole night was for a good cause (The 'Kids First' program of the Alcohol & Drug Services group), and a chance for us to get gussied up. I gave up combining a black tie with trousers a long time ago, so of course, I wore a kilt again. But to step it up a notch, I bought a real live, tie-it-yourself bowtie when we were at Harrod's last week. It came with instructions, complete with pictures. This was not enough. I am apparently bow-tie impaired. Fortunately, the guy behind the counter (Filipino. We bonded.) left it tied for me so I could just slip it on.
The ball itself was a hoot (even the dancing - you've never lived 'til you've danced to 'Y.M.C.A.' in a kilt), with a lovely meal - our places were reserved for us with lovely name cards. I hope you will all refer to my Bride as 'Gear' from now on. As these events are wont to have, there were a number of other fund-raising appeals throughout the night. At the first bid of the auction, a cranky looking grandfatherly fellow opened the night by bidding £2000 on 4 seats to a Kylie Minogue concert (who, until this weekend, I'm not sure I had ever heard before). Considering the auctioneer had opened the bid at £500 or so (and even that amount had me running in the other direction), this guy had obviously told his wife he had a £2000 budget for this charity thing, and bid it on the first thing up. It didn't matter if the guy was auctioning off a pair of tickets to the 87th annual Coat Hanger Merchants symposium. Which is too bad, really, because later in the evening they auctioned off a framed handkerchief from Heath Ledger's new movie. That ended up selling for only £800. What a bargain.