It was back to the basics this year after three years of deluxe birthday balls during recruiting duty—no included open bar or hotel suite—but no $200+ for tickets, either. And, as usual, I didn’t know anyone (the Detroit years were the only time I’ve ever known anyone at a ball).
The official pictures didn’t go particularly well. The guy seemed somewhat knowledgeable, but he was too perfectionist and was all “Okay, lady tilt head left, lift chin up, move your arm to the left a bit, bend your elbow more, lean into him. Sir, chin towards me, no back a bit, look up, tilt your head sideways, take a tiny sidestep back.” But 10x worse. Oh my god it was tiring and distracting. Then he showed you the photos (digital, of course) and if you didn’t like it, he’d take more. Well, I hated all three he took of us, so I said “Can you just take a quick casual picture without all the direction?” Sure, and it ended up to be the best one but I still hated it (damn double chin—yeah, it’s me in all my glory but I hate to see it in a photo). So, it’s a $20 memory.
For whatever reason, the ceremony seemed to move more slowly than we’d remembered it, and we weren’t even starting dinner until 8:30—and we didn’t get cake until 9:45!! There was still no music or dancing by that point, and we honestly didn’t feel like staying and waiting for that to start…so we left at 10. Yeah, we’re apparently old fogies now. :o