Well, there it is--The Dress. And notice the Cat Daddy in his smashing tux, known as the Mess Dress. He thought I might like to wear a navy dress, but I think the "apple" shade provides a lovely contrast, yes? I don't know what's up with my posture in that pic--I could've sworn I was standing up straight. Our yard is at an odd slope, so we'll just call it that. Or I'll say I was going for a Greek goddess pose. Even better.
The purpose of this one is to prove that I did make my toes all pretty, and that I did, in fact, wear heels. This is significant because I don't do heels. But I did for the dining out. Also important is the lack of nylons (something bothers me about pantyhose--both the item and the word). Mom was adamant that nylons must be worn to a (semi) formal event, but I was equally adamant that I wasn't doing it. So I didn't. I also like that you can see a little more of my hair in this one. I had it done, as I am more of the wash-comb-leave it type of person and wouldn't know how to go about making my curls cascade as they did.
So there you have it. The event itself was nice. Something interesting about the military--they have a tradition for everything. Printed in the program itself was the etiquette of the mess:
The following is a list of rules under which the mess will be conducted. They are designed to conform to tradition and promote levity. Violators of these rules are subject to the wrath and mischievousness of Mister and Madam Vice. All assigned penalties will be carried out before the members.
•Thou shalt arrive 10 minutes before the appointed hour for the call to order.
•Thou shalt make every effort to meet all guests.
•Thou shalt move to the mess when thee hears the chimes and remain standing until seated by the President.
•Thou shalt not bring cocktails or lighted smoking material into the mess.
•Thou shalt not leave the mess whilst the mess is convened. Military protocol overrides all calls of nature.
•Thou shalt participate in all toasts unless thyself or thy group is honored with a toast.
•Thou shalt ensure thy glass is always charged when toasting.
•Thou shalt not open the schoolhouse (talk shop) doors.
•Thou shalt always use proper toasting procedures.
•Thou shalt be painfully regarded if thy clip-on bow tie rides at an obvious list. Thou shalt be forgiven, however, if thee also ride at a comparable list.
•Thou shalt consume thy meal in a manner becoming of gentle persons.
•Thou shalt not laugh at ridiculously funny comments unless the President first shows approval by laughing.
•Thou shalt express thy approval by tapping thy spoon on the table. Clapping of thy hands will not be tolerated.
•Thou shalt not question the decision of the President (no quibbling).
•When the mess adjourns, thou shalt rise and wait for the President and guests to leave. Thou shalt enjoy thyself to the fullest.
I learned that this event was about four times larger than normal, so it was virtually impossible to actually enforce the rules. And Mister and Madam Vice didn't dole out any mischief, except to the President (the group's commander). During dinner I used my spoon to scoop the gravy out of my potatoes, so it got taken with my plate and I was left with nothing to bang on the table for the rest of the evening.
Throughout the evening, any time an individual squadron was mentioned, that squadron would give their chant. The President and the Vices exchanged witty remarks...most of them scripted. An interesting combination of silliness and solemnity.
I can take or leave all the pomp and such, but my favorite part was talking with people we've met here. The two ladies I shopped with were there (Mrs. Fashion was quite pleased with my dress choice), and we met another lady and all got along famously. So well in fact that the four of us kept the husbands waiting at the very end while we put each other's numbers in our cell phones. Always a nice thing, to hit it off with people.
The guest speaker had recently returned from deployment and had some interesting stories to share, but we were not able to stay for the dancing, as the program ran over and we had to pick up His Highness. The local girl scouts were a couple buildings over--they provided childcare as a community service project, and did a great job. The Cat Daddy said when he went in to pick him up, His Highness was sleeping on a couch, with several of the girls sitting around him, admiring his cuteness. Of course they were!
I liked this event because it taught me a lot. Sadly, His Highness is sticking his nose in my eye, so my list of things learned will have to wait...