Friday, May 28, 2010

A Military Ball

Last night was a first for my husband and I.

We have been military for 19 years, and until now, have never gone to a ball. You should see the looks we would get at times when people heard it was our first time attending one. Shock or Awe....not quite sure which. But this year it was "MANDATORY" for certain ranks... "OR ELSE."

So I bought a dress a couple months ago, in preparation for the evening.

Yesterday I got all "dolled up" and hubby got himself all "spiffied" up and we went to a ball.

In the yard before we left.

We got there and one of the first formalities is the "posting of the colors." The lighting there was terrible, so please forgive the condition of some of these pictures.

Then the 82d Airborne Chorus performed. This was actually the second time in a week I saw these soldiers singing. The other was at a volunteer appreciation ceremony....which I have yet to post about.

A tradition in the 82d, is that when the "All American Soldier" song is sung, paratroopers (past and present) must stand at attention and sing along.

The ladies/spouses just kind of sit around and wait with bemused looks on their faces.

Traditions. The Army has a lot of them.

Then there is this tradition.


It is as ominous as it sounds.


Run. Run far away!!!!

It begins with a history lesson...and proceeds with the pouring of "stuff" into the punch bowl. People representing the different portions of the unit, each pour a bottle of "something" into the bowl. Mostly very, very "hard" stuff.

This lady represented the spouses, and poured in a bottle of champaigne.

Oh by the way, each bottle must be "proven drinkable" before being poured into THE GROG.

Then it is all stirred together with a special stirrer that looks suspiciously like a toilet brush. Then the youngest lieutenant there has to "test" the grog. That poor guy was given two ladle-fulls......then something else was added because it was just not right. Then he had to test it AGAIN. Never saw the guy again the rest of the night. (The Grog preceded eating.....oh that poor kid!)

After that, we ate, there were speeches, and other formalities, and awards given to some special people.

There was some socializing and picture-taking.

Mr. & Mrs. Q

After all the formalities, the colors are then retired.

And the dancing begins!

I have NO idea who that lady is, but she should really fire her dry-cleaner, because obviously her dress shrunk.

And then many of us retired to the parking lot for a post-party tail-gate and chat-fest.

Some of us ladies.

And what's a party without a group shot?

All in all, it was a nice evening. It was very long (4:30 - Midnight) but it was enjoyable. At least for most of us.

Not sure about that poor young lieutenant, though.


Lynn said...

Lovely dress!My husband and I also avoided balls throughout his 23 years of service in the British military! But can I ask about the wearing of hats whilst dining and dancing? Is that an American thing or a unit thing?

Mrs. Arrow said...

Oh Darlin'! I just LOVE the dress!!!! You looked like the belle of the ball. Perfect, perfect, perfect!
Now, you just have to figure out where and when to wear it again...
Have a blessed Memorial Day!

MrsMamaHen said...

Hello Lynn!

The hats aren't an american thing per say, but they are a "CAV" thing. When you are in a Cavalry unit like we are, they often wear Stetsons. The Stetsons, unlike normal head gear like berets and such, are worn both outdoors and indoors. It is a tradition and pride thing :-)

Sheri said...

Oh, I see someone asked about the hats cuz I thought they looked like something Custer and his dudes wore, and was curious as to their nature-not what you'd normally see the soldiers wearing...and now you answered the ?? I had. Thanks! :0)

You two looked rather stunning all dolled/manly-maned up-very nice. Looks like you had a lovely time and yes, perhaps that lady actually got her dress caught in the car door and it "ripped" to such a shortened manner? LOL

Thanks for sharing this post-some of us whom never go to such things can now live vicariously through you and your Belle of the Ball moments-awesome.

MrsMamaHen said...

Well you weren't far off Sheri. Custer *was* part of a Cavalry unit :-)

Mathew and Christie said...

Where did you get the dress? I love it and want to get one!

MrsMamaHen said...

I purchased my dress online from:

They have a wide selection of fairly modest dresses. Something that is very hard to find in most stores.

Sarah said...

Thank you for posting the link where you found your gown! Lovely!