Last you heard, I was at Georgetown University in school and my guys (James and our sons Matthew and Zachary) had gone on to our new assignment - Tokyo - without me while I stayed behind in DC going to school.
Not quite sure how much detail to get into or what exactly to say, except to tell y'all that - though Georgetown was going incredibly well for me, life wasn't going too swimmingly for my guys in Tokyo. A couple of weeks ago, a certain thing or two (big things) were actually going so badly in Tokyo that I withdrew from my classes at Georgetown and literally got on the next plane bound for Tokyo so that I could be with my guys. Be a mom... be a wife... be there. Because I was badly needed.
My program at Georgetown graciously put me on an extended leave of absence, so that was extremely kind of them, but of course the money has been spent (tuition/apartment in DC) with nothing to show for it (except a string of W's on my transcript... sigh). And while I would do anything in the world for my family (of course, as my coming to Tokyo illustrates), I am waiting until the situation that forced me to drop everything in DC and scurry to Tokyo is fully resolved and until I am - how to put this - less unbelievably furious before I write anything about it that I cannot retract.
The interwebs. They last a long time.
The circumstances were such that I decided to leave for Tokyo on one day and then literally took off the next day at noon from Dulles. And what, pray tell, do y'all think I did that night? That night after deciding in the afternoon to leave the country the next day?
Like all good State wives who are imminently facing a Marine Ball for which they have NOTHING to wear (as all of my dress up clothes are packed and headed from Chengdu to Tokyo in our HHE and as my sudden arrival in Tokyo corresponded with the Marine Ball here)... I went shopping. At Tyson's Corner.
I had TWO HOURS to buy a dress, an undergarment to suck in my fat ("Spanx"), and a pair of heels before the mall closed and before I left for the airport at 8am the next morning.
I went racing around Tyson's Corner like a crazy person. THANK GOD they have a Spanx store there or I don't know what I would have done. Looked like a cow in sequins and sported horrifying panty lines, I suppose.
[Note to you ladies out there: Thong underwear ALSO shows panty lines when you are wearing a clingy formal gown, just triangle thong-shape panty lines above your rear end. Which are also tacky. The more you know...]
I was still jetlagged the day of the Marine Ball, but I was happy that I got to attend. It was sort of tricky, as James was "working" the Ball and had to leave the house wayyyyyyy before I did. He and I really didn't have much of a chance to take pictures together this year like we have in previous years, so this motley set of photos will have to suffice for this year. Hey, at least I got to attend, right?
This Marine Ball was (duh) much bigger than our Balls back in Chengdu. The Ball here also didn't include (to my knowledge) even one single person who hated my guts. Can I just say how awesome a Ball is when there's no one there (to my knowledge) who hates your guts?? SPLENDID. Even though I pretty much didn't know a single soul other than James because I had just landed in Tokyo, being there with no one I knew but no one who hated me is FAR PREFERABLE to being there with some people I adore but also with people who hate me. And yes, someday I will write about the things that happened to us in Chengdu. You probably won't even believe half of them, they're that crazy awful.
The venue was beautiful. I'm not the kind of person who can set tables prettily but someone out there obviously is:
The tables even had little name placards for each of us, which was handy because then you don't have to worry about how you're not the cool kid and no one wants to sit next to you so where are you going to end up sitting?
Well, to be fair, James had to sit on one side of me because we're married so that was in his vows and also because his name placard demanded this of him.
I was scared that since he was "working" the Marine Ball that I wouldn't really get to see him much, since our first year in Chengdu he "worked" the Ball and while we might have danced together for a couple of minutes, that was pretty much it for the whole evening. But this year I got to see him a lot more than that, so I was happy!
My camera was behaving badly at the Ball and the lens wasn't really focusing and so just to make sure we ended up with SOMETHING, James and I took our very first "selfie" shot (or whatever it's called) with his iPhone.
And you know what I found out about a week too late?? That they make CROTCHLESS Spanx. How come no one ever told me?!? My dress was foofy and sequin-y but I might have been able to actually use the restroom during the Ball had I had a pair of those suckers. As it was, in my normal Spanx, I just suffered until I got home, Jane Austen-era style. The things we ladies do for beauty. Men have no such concerns, OBVIOUSLY.