Friday, December 30, 2005

Belles, balls and boobs

I can blame Paula for this entry. She wrote about a school dance and a wardrobe malfunction yesterday, and it motivated me to go back to Sorting the pieces and dust off this old entry about a similar topic. Oh, it is funny now.

I've been reading journals and checking out everyone's attire for the Anniversary Ball this weekend. I'm still trying to decide between the little black dress, the little black dress and the not so little black dress. I know one thing, though. It won't be strapless. In high school, I was a member of a sorority that had a formal every winter. The seniors and officers were introduced to the party goers and presented with a bouquet of roses. I was a member for one reason. I was a legacy. My sister had been in the sorority before me which meant that I had to be offered an invitation to join, and I pretty much had to accept. It fit her to a T. I, on the other hand, was shy, bookish, awkward and I had no clue how to work a party. Back then, parties were work for me. I was an officer when I was a junior. Writing a wicked thank you note automatically made me corresponding secretary of every club I ever ended up in. I screwed up the courage and asked this adorable boy to the formal, and he actually said yes. I found this incredible strapless burgundy dress with enough hidden ribbing and underwires to hold the girls in place. I had my grandmother's 1920's vintage black lace shawl for propriety's sake. Bare cleavage was one thing, barely hidden cleavage quite another. I swapped up my wallabees and topsiders for a drop dead gorgeous pair of high heeled sandals. I looked as sophisticated as I didn't feel. That year, our formal was at the country club where my family belonged. It wasn't the nicest or the most exclusive in town, but it did have a wonderful ballroom that was part of the main building, an antebellum plantation house. Two staircases wound down to the dance floor where the girls were supposed to gather for a group photograph before the dancing began. I was fourth from the last to descend. My date and I were poised at the top of the left stairwell. My name was called. I had one arm on my date's arm. The other was holding my roses and my shawl. My toe caught my hem as I took my first step and pulled my gown down to my waist. There I was in all my glory, juggling my date's arm, a lace shawl, a half dozen roses, two rebounding orbs and a rapidly descending dress in front of probably 200 people, with about 20 steps to go. Well, a girl has to do what a girl has to do. I yanked the dress back in place, pulled that shawl tighter than ever, and walked down those stairs with my face the same color as my dress. It's one way to get over being shy.


Blogger V said...

Hehehe, that`s great!

December 30, 2005 6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was almost too horrified for you to be able to laugh at this.

December 30, 2005 7:48 AM  
Blogger Sie said...

OK. I will never ever wear anything strapless. Ever! lol

December 30, 2005 9:44 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

I remember this one, Cynthia. In fact, I remember it twice.

December 30, 2005 12:15 PM  
Blogger Wenda said...

And I thought I'd do anything to get attention ;). What a challenge. What a great story.

December 30, 2005 1:38 PM  
Blogger Nelle said...

OH my Cynthia, you handled that with grace. I once fell down a flight of stairs landing in a gathering room with my skirt over my head. When I promptly pulled it down my mother's minister and his wife could hardly control the grins on their faces. I'm sure they had a great laugh about it later. I just stood up, brushed myself off and sat down. Whew! I must have been crimson faced.

December 30, 2005 3:02 PM  
Blogger Gabreael said...

Happy New Year!


December 30, 2005 7:26 PM  
Blogger Judith HeartSong said...

loved reading this again.... judi

December 31, 2005 6:37 AM  
Blogger Wenda said...

I said, "What a great story," and I've been thinking ever since that what I admire the most is your way of telling of this story. I enjoy your style.

December 31, 2005 8:20 PM  

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