So here we are...you see that girl on the right? That's my friend. I am standing like that on the left, but my sister (who took the picture) didn't get me in. Oh well! :-)
It was quite the eventful day: I worked till 2...or maybe noon...I can't remember now. I think I was supposed to work until 2, but it was such a quiet day, I just decided to leave at 12. The ball was in Palm Springs, so I wanted to be on the road by 3 to beat traffic...but on days like this time is not your friend--especially not on a Friday when you are heading east (...with the hundreds of other people trying to get out of the city for a weekend at the lake). So, when we finally got there we were about an hour late. I felt really bad for it, but our date (who was there waiting outside the whole time) was all about the kindness. I know, it's fairly odd, but I did say "our date"...as in singular...as in one of him for the three of us girls. All I can say is that he was P-I-M-P!
After waiting outside for us, he walked us in as they were finishing hors d'oeuvres. And a minute later we were all invited to enter the dining hall to sit down. Since we were still close to the door, we were one of the first to get there, so we selected a table near the middle and before we were even seated the table was full: the four of us, and 5 fine young men. (plus the one that pulled up another chair later in the evening.) It was quite the evening. There were several official presentations, the important patriotic procedures you would expect, the night's motivational speaker, ceremonial cutting of the official birthday cake, symbolic presentations of the first 3 slices of cake...and then we were dismissed for food.
It was buffet style, so most of out table waited while the lines died down, but you can tell that men in uniform are used to eating on a tight schedule with a large crowd of people. When I finally went for food, some others were already going for seconds ;-). It was very good. The funny think is that after we finished eating my friend and I felt the impulse to be some how helping. We do catering on the weekends, so now when we go to weddings and other such events we don't know how to be guests...we feel like we should be in the kitchen preparing, or behind the buffet serving, or clearing tables, or checking the punch/water levels, or...
I could go on, but I'm sure I've already lost half of you, so we'll get back to the ball--just remember that there were a few minutes of awkwardness sitting there and not doing anything. ...until they turned the music up. We are all very good at dancing! When "Soulja boy" came on, we couldn't keep our friend in her seat! So we followed her to the dance floor...and the rest of the table followed within a few minutes. (Well, almost everyone did, there was a certain someone-who-shall- remain-nameless, who disappeared about this time.) It was a ton of fun!
At 10 pm sharp they announced that the first bus was there to take a load back to the base, and it was easy to see that the men in uniform are used to their schedule--which I can't really blame them for, since I've got a fairly strict curfew, too. So about then there was a mad rush to exchange numbers/e-mail addresses before running to get to the front of the bus line. Our date and one of his friends were perfect gentlemen, opening doors for us, and escorting us to our car. (Here's to you Mitch, even though you will probably never read this. Thank you for a wonderful evening! I'm so glad you invited me--er--us, even if you were forced into it by your sister.)
All in all, it was a wonderful evening--definitely worth the hours spent in the car!