April 17th has been circled in red on my husband’s calendar for months.
Mine? Not so much.
You see, tomorrow night we’re attending a ball.
And while I, as a young girl, dreamed of such events and all the flowing gowns, sparkling jewelry and ridiculously high heeled shoes these evenings required, I’m grown now.
And I have nine children.
And somehow, I’d rather spend the evening nestled in front of a movie or huddled around a game table with all of them instead.
Not to mention the fact that I’m not a huge fan of social gatherings. This might come as a bit of a shock to some, but it’s oh so true. I’m most definitely a homebody extraordinaire, which really suits our lifestyle. ‘Cuz with this big of a posse, we don’t get out much.
But these ‘events’, like the one we’re attending tomorrow night, require not only leaving my kiddos at home and socializing, but they also require that I at least make my best effort to look the part.
While I do have a dress I can dust off for this formal occasion, let’s just say, it’s been over 15 years since I bought it. Good black dresses never go out of style, right? (that’s what I’m telling myself, please don’t tell me anything different because I have neither the time nor the money nor the inclination to buy anything new.)
I’ve got some great black, strappy heels, and I found some lovely dangly earrings… but back to the dress. And what I’m trying to put into the dress. Let’s do the math, here. If the dress is 15 years old, then that makes me 15 years older than when I first put it on. That’s a decade and a half and seven kids ago, peeps. And, granted, I only gave birth to two of those seven, but some how, some way, well… it’s left a mark.
So I’m on a mission, seeking some serious help. Help in the form of ultra strong, ultra (hopefully) amazing spandex. Spanx on steroids, if you will. My husband has encouraged me to go out and get whatever I need for our big evening. Thankfully for me, he wears rose-colored glasses where I’m concerned. And the fact that I’ll be stuffing myself into a dress like a sausage doesn’t turn his stomach one bit. I think he’s actually looking forward to seeing my shoulders again.
I’m off today to find my genie in a cellophane package. And I’m hopeful. After all, I do have a dress. And accessories. And we have managed to acquire an ultra qualified baby-sitter to watch our kiddos.
She’s a preschool teacher. If she can’t handle our crew, no one can.
I just pray that three impatient, curious tag-alongs, crammed alongside their sweaty, anxious mama in a tiny, fluorescently-lit dressing room while she squeezes into ‘shapewear’ won’t prove to be too much. For all of us.