Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Trip ~ Part 2 ~ Marine Ball

Day 4: Monday, November 23rd

The day of the ball had finally arrived. I awoke early - and when I say early I mean 4:15 early - so Marine and I could make the hour drive from the apartment to base (see picture of base). Once on base he changed into his uniform and prepared to go down and report for duty. In a small room the size of a normal bedroom three beds were strategically arranged and the three roommates did a practiced waltz as they got ready. Dodging each other with an ease that can only come from months of practice. Those first months I'm sure were met with hostility and many arguments but now they had the routine down. Marine hugged me goodbye and followed the two roommates out into the early dawn.

Myself and Roommates Wife remained in the barracks room, unable to fall asleep I laid on Marine's bed and channel surfed. At 5:30 not much is really on TV but I happily settled on the Nanny - a classic, but goody - and the moment sleep starts to overcome me there is a loud bang on the door and Marine and the others enter, all way to peppy for such an early morning hour.

At this point we go our separate ways and Marine and I head to Cracker Barrel for an early morning breakfast. Keep in mind at this point I have had no shower, I am in sweet pants and a T-Shirt, and have on no make-up....... sexy....... Yeah Right.

Ok lets Fast Forward now ----> -------> We arrive at the hotel about 3:30 p.m. the ball is at 5:00 p.m. I'M FREAKING OUT!!!!! (See picture - hotel is on the left and the convention center where the ball was is the building on the right)

The room is beautiful but all this is irrelevant. I have approximately an hour and 15 minutes to: shower, do my make-up (which I am so not good at and need time for mistakes), and fix my hair. Originally I had planned on fixing my hair and if it didn't look good I would just take another shower and wear it straight. But there was no time for that.

I showered and with hair turban style in a towel I sat down and started applying war paint to my face. After poking myself in the eye less than a dozen times I finally got the charcoal eyeliner in place just perfectly. With a splash of various shades of grey eye shadow and several coats of mascara (Cover Girl Lash Blast ~ This stuff ROCKS!!! ~ If you've never used it check it out).

Marine who is in no rush to get ready (because lets face it, it takes guys a total of 20 minutes tops and they're ready - NOT FAIR) is sitting on the bed watching ESPN.

E, "Do my eyes look even?" I lean close to him so that he can get a good view.

Marine, "That one looks darker," he points to my left eye.

E, "What part is darker?"

Marine, "I don't know."
"Well is it the eyeshadow, the liner, or the mascara?" I demand.

Marine looks lost in panic as his eyes dart back and forth looking at my eye makeup, still up close I may add, "I don't know......" panic is setting in, "On second thought they look the same," his mouth says one thing but his eyes say another. "Yes they are the same."

I'm not one to be shaken that easily, "Ok sweetie calm down," I take a deep breath as if to help, "Now look closely," I pause, "the eyeliner is the stuff around my eyes and the shadow is what is on my eyelid." I pause again letting the differences sink in. "Which one is darker?"

"I don't know!" He maneuvers off the bed where I am leaning over him and is crossing to the door. "I'll go get Roommates Wife!"

"I don't want to ask Roommates wife, I'm asking you!" I say thru gritted teeth full bitch E starting to make an appearance.

The deer is in mid spotlight now and the panic has taken over. Marine may be many things but he is not a fool and stands there frozen not saying a word.

I let out an agitated sigh and walk (ok maybe storm) back to the bathroom.

"I love you...... and they really do look the same," He calls from the safety of the other room.

But I go with first instinct and if his first response was that one was darker I decide to go with that and I start to try to balance them out. When satisfied I start to put on the rest of the mask that would become my face for the night. Yes people the eyes were just the first layer.
I then blow dry and start to curl my hair. I have thick hair. So half is pinned up and I am armed with a curling iron and a can of hair spray. Not the best time for Marine to say I need to hurry.

With curling iron in hair, I lean out of the bathroom. His back is to me as he stands looking out the window at the bay. He is already dressed and ready and my eyes shoot him the "go to hell" look as he turns and laughs, "I'm just kidding."

I lean back in the bathroom where I spray and start on another section. "You could be a little more appreciative you know! I AM doing this for you, you know!"

He enters the bathroom, "I told you to wear your hair straight and it would look fine."

"Hold this," I motion to a section of hair. -- Now let me give you a mental picture here: Marine is in his Dress Blues already, I am in my pajama bottoms and a strapless bra, curling iron in hair as he stands next to me and holds up a section of my hair I have run out of clips for. This my friends is love, looking back I even want to kill me at this point.

"You've seen the dress (which can only be referred to as "the dress" anything else seems to take away from the splendor of it) I cannot wear my hair straight with it! It has to be more fancy and formal like the dress."

We stand in silence a moment.

E, "I'm sorry. I'm stressing way to much. And I know I'm being a bitch but I just want to look perfect for you tonight."

Marine puts an arm around me and leans around the curls to kiss my cheek, "you could have on jeans and be covered in dirt and I would still think you looked perfect."

Suck up.

I shake my head, "thank you. I love you."

We stand in silence for a minute while I continue to curl.

"Your not allowed to come next year," He states.

I look at him in the mirror.

He laughs, "Or one of your friends has to come up to help you."

At that moment Vixen calls, I tell you she is my mood ring. Marine leaves the room and I vent to Vixen and she tells me to send her a picture and she will verify my make-up is even. She calms me down and makes me laugh. And I decide that next year (depending on Marine's deployment time) she will have to come.

Not much longer and I have the dress on and I'm ready. Marine calls Roommate to see if Roommates Wife is ready. She is almost ready so we agree to meet in the lobby.

During our elevator ride we hear two more guys who are ready to kill their wife/girlfriend for taking so long to get ready. I give Marine a look to imply he's not alone.

We meet up with Roommate couple and head to the ball, which is being held in the conference center next door to the hotel.

There are men in uniform everywhere! Seriously a single girls dream come true. Many of the guys are dateless but majority also have well dressed women hanging onto their arms. And what would any kind of event be without a few girls who are very inappropriately dressed. You know short dresses, to much cleavage, etc. All of which our on people you really don't want to see. Less is more people. Come on.

We are seated and the ceremony begins for the 234th Birthday of the Marines. The Chaplan gives a speach and then a video is played (which I think was played at balls nationwide, see youtube clip below).

Afterwards we are served wonderful food (of which I took a picture just for your viewing pleasure) and there was an open bar which should guarantee a fun time. But the bartenders must have been ordered to make weak drinks so in order to get a drink that was not 98% fruit juice I had to resort to ordering a double. I was tempted to ask for a triple once seeing Miss Bartender pour, what she considered, a double shot of rum into my drink. But I figured this would put me on her bad side and as a part time bartender myself I know that you do not want to be on the person whom you are depending on alcohol from's bad side (Take that piece of wisdom and tuck it away for a future date).

The night was spent eating and dancing...... and eating some more. Marine slow danced with me but once the beat picked up he left me to dance with one of his goofy friends that I have met on numerous occasions and have grown fond of. The night was fun.

The ball was interrupted at one point as a Marine took the mic and then proposed. This is either a moment you will go awe how sweet..... or think really? Personally I had mixed emotions.

It may have been perfect for them but not for me. It seemed so...... almost...... impersonal? Marine hugged from me behind as we watched and whispered in my ear, "I would never propose to you like that."

I smile feeling a little relieved, "Oh yeah? How will you do it?"

"It will be a surprise of course! But somewhere when it's just the two of us. But some place that's special to us."

I'm impressed with his answer.

The dancing resumes and Roommate Wife and I do the Cupix Shuffle and laugh. Sorry but I love this dance because it is the only choreographed dance I know.

Shortly after Roommate and Roommate Wife say good night and head back to the hotel. Marine and I decide to stay a little longer and we mingle with his friends. After about 30 more minutes we to decide to head back. At this point to much alcohol has been served and the younger Marine's, determined to get their money's worth, and the DJ have turned the nice, formal ball into a bad high school dance. Yep, it's time to go.

As we left the ball I could feel the tension ease from Marine with every step we took. He is a leader in his section (or something like that - No, I don't know all the technical terms - but I know that it is an important position that he had to earn) and because of his higher up's being at the ball he had always seemed to be on alert.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the ball was when a young Marine, so new to the service that his eyes still sparkled with future hopes and dreams of bravery, came up and took a seat at our table beside Marine. Marine introduces the New Recruit to me and we strike up a conversation. He is British and has just gained his U.S. Citizenship and is so proud to show me his old Visa he will no longer need. I immediately like the young man and his upbeat mood is contagious. His expression then becomes somber and he starts to tell me about when they were out West training just a month back. He speaks so highly of Marine and tells me that Marine helped him when his own section leader would not. He goes on to tell me all these wonderful things, while Marine sits blushing - he is modest and of course has not told me any of this. What must it feel like to know you have had such an impact on someone's life?

Later as we walked away from the convention center I told Marine that many people go their whole life never having an impact on someone or truely making a difference in someone's life. I tell him that I truely am proud of him and that he has also made a difference in my life.

Not ready to go back to the room yet we decided to walk out onto one of the many docks (My favorite part of the night). Despite the rain that had plaqued the sky's earlier in the day, the night breeze had blown in and made for a clear and starry night.

We talked as we walked along the dock hand in hand. He apoligizes for not dancing more, at which I shrug and say that it is ok.

Then probably one of the most romantic moments in my life occured. Marine asked me if I would dance with him. I smiled as he took me in his arms. Then I stopped him. If we were going to do this we were going to do it right. I took my phone out of my purse and flipped to the MP3 player and selected a slow slong.

There in the moonlight at the end of the dock we danced.

“A true man does not need to romance a different girl every night, a true man romances the same girl for the rest of her life.

~ Ana Alas ~

P.S. More pictures to come - my camera cable has gone MIA but as soon as I find it I will upload some more. Because you know me I took tons of pics! Also let me apologize in advance, due to the amount of pictures in this post I'm sure the layout and spacing is going to be all messed up!! Why does blogger do that? Anyway, SORRY!


Jenn said...

what a great night! your dress looked awesome!

phoebe said...

what a great post. from i can tell, you looked wonderful! so glad to hear that you had such a fantastic and memorable time!!

Date Girl said...

Yay! It sounds like it was a great night. I love the slow dance at the end. I also loved that you guys had one of those classic girl getting ready couple tiffs. When you're in a long distance relationship, it's easy to skip over that stuff, and then when you're together all the time, it's almost like you have to start from the beginning. This makes it more real to me, and I'm glad you both survived it beautifully!
I also agree about the proposal, yuck to a big group impersonal proposal. I'm all about the private moment, or maybe close friends and family. Not some big ball room! Glad that Marine agrees too.

Unwritten said...

Your hair turned out great!!! And you were so worried. I agree with date girl. When you're in a long distance relationship you tend to try and live in a fantasy world where everything is perfect. Nice to see you're not afraid to be yourself. I'm going to try and do the same.
I'm glad you guys had a good time. Marine seems to be so romantic!