I won’t let go at any price.

1. I’m sort of bummed about the goings-on in my life. What should I do?
2. All of the news with the impeachment possibilities and the Russia who-knows-whats and the constant this-or-thats is making my blood pressure sky rocket. What should I do?
3. I’m considering learning how to play the oboe, but maybe I should commit to something that takes less time. What should I do?

Answer to all of the above:
Meet an adventurous friend at a mall restaurant for drinks and then TRY ON PROM DRESSES!

I never went to prom. I have no idea what prom is other than an evening where people go out and eat shrimp in fancy clothes (the people are in the clothes, not the shrimp), and then maybe there is dancing and some people might end up at a hotel because of the urge to have high school sex. Admittedly, all or none of these assumptions may be false or true.

Let’s back up.

I turned 47 last Friday. I celebrated a bit on Thursday by meeting a friend for lunch followed by spice and vinegar shopping. I treated myself to these two vinegars and every morning I drizzle a bit of one or the other into my water and suddenly I’m a happy water drinker.


Celebrating my birthday with the family on Friday was perfect and quiet and exactly what I wanted. My mom came up for lunch and flower shopping. I spent the rest of the day reading and knitting and drinking many cups of hot tea. My life is a good life.

Mother’s Day? Equally good. The four of us did what we always do, which is go out for coffee and then head straight to Home Depot for Mother’s Day plants. (We used to go to church for the pancake breakfast, but we haven’t attended since the year I accidentally hurled a glass of water at a baby.) ((Honestly? That baby deserved it.)) BACK TO THE PLANT: This year I went with a pink Mandevilla named Fran.

I’m hoping Fran decides to vine up the side of the pergola. I’ve had dreams of vining plants on the pergola since we moved in nearly three years ago. Be my special traveler, Fran.

Yesterday morning I met a friend for pizza and a discussion of A Gentleman In Moscow, which is a book every one of you should read. During lunch we experienced a lot of Me-Too!s and So-Do-I!s and it was just so perfect. After lunch I returned home and rested a bit to build up sufficient energy for a formal adventure where Adventure involves a martini and Formal implies a gown.

Tempe and I met at a mall for dinner and drinks at 630 yesterday evening. I had flatbread and a martini. She had a salad and sangria. Less than an hour later, we were ready for Tipsy Prom Night.

Before working our way into the category of Senior Cheerleader in Sequins, we decided to go to Earth Mother Prom.

Lesson Learned: Wear flesh-colored underpants during Tipsy Prom Night. Also? Do you see that skirt? Well, no you don’t, because it’s NOT a skirt. It’s big wide pants, which are apparently very popular right now.

Next up was this guy.

If I had kept up with my dream of being a concert pianist (the dream started with a scholarship in 1989  and ended a semester later because I simply couldn’t make it to class at 700 in the morning), I believe I would already own this dress in a size that would actually zip. Wait a second. Picture me in that dress. (It should be easy, because there is an actual picture less than two inches away from where you are reading right now.) NOW, close your eyes and listen to me playing this:

(I once took that Liszt piece to a piano competition and my fingers no longer remember it. Oh, fond memories and parallel universe daydreams…)

Let’s try on more dresses, shall we? We shall!

The red dress sort of worked, except the flesh-colored fabric over half of my chest kept freaking me out. (I was freaked out for the approximately 23 seconds that I kept the dress on.)

And then we had this one. I toyed with the idea of purchasing it because someday I just might be the mother of the bride. Wait. DO I SORT OF LOOK LIKE A SHRIMP IN FANCY CLOTHES?! I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG!!!

Pretty soon it became clear that the mall would be closing in 45 minutes. Time for the final dress.

Yet another successful Tipsy Prom Night! You’re the meaning in my life, you’re the inspiration. You bring feeling to my life! You’re the inspiration…

(I skipped the hotel on the way home because you can’t take the Baptist out of the girl.)

11 thoughts on “I won’t let go at any price.”

  1. I just adore you! You will have to talk to me about the flavored vinegar in the water and I love the dress you considered buying for a mother of the bride dress. Very pretty!

  2. Sirius XM has a “PROM” station (no. 13) right now and I am loving it. (Meredith is hating it because of all the singing-along, lol.)

  3. The oboe: I play it, and it’s awesome, and it’s really not hard to learn! Especially since you already have those mad treble clef music reading skills from your piano playing. The embouchure is easier than the flute, but it does take time and work and muscle development to stop sounding like a quacking duck. Buy yourself a $100 oboe on craigslist and go to town! Also, I love the red lace number. ;)

  4. My sister and I did this at Sax once. She is older and I was still in high school. She managed to pull off this air of confidence that I never would have been able to pull at that age. They put us in a giant dressing room and offered us drinks (sodas). I haven’t thought about doing that again in years.

    I’m glad you had a good birthday.

  5. Though the dresses were lovely, I especially enjoyed your facial expressions!! And that song is now stuck in my head… ;)

  6. When I was in volunteer service and we had no money we often went to fancy department stores and tried on fancy dresses for fun. Good times! :)

  7. I have a bottle of Calamansi vinegar too!!!! It is truly wonderful. I particularly love to stir a generous spoonful into lentil soup.

    Also you and Tempe had a better prom than I did, that’s for sure!

  8. I went to a prom, and unless proms have changed a lot since the early 1960s, you haven’t really missed a lot. It’s one of those things that is much more myth than reality in the cosmic scheme of things.

    That said, I really love the gray concert dress on you. It’s beautiful. It would make a lovely mother-of-the-bride dress, too.

    I think Tipsy Prom Dress Night sounds like about the most fun in the world! When I was in middle school my best friend and I took the bus to the fancy stores and told the salespeople that our dads didn’t want to wait while we tried things on, so they’d sent us to decide what all we wanted for school, and they’d be in the following day to pay for everything. Since neither of us had a dad anywhere in our lives, it was the closest we’d ever come to getting a school wardrobe. But they still allowed us to try on skirts and sweaters and all the things some other girls got to wear routinely, and dutifully set them aside for our dad’s to pick up. We were smart enough to give fake names of our dads. All these years later I can see the two of us evaluating each other’s look in all the things we’d never wear and giggling all the way home over the lie we’d gotten away with. In later years I figured the saleswomen knew, but went along because they were good people.

    Here’s to pretty dresses, flowers, friends, and vinegar. Let’s keep those things at the top of our lists while others deal with impeachment.

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