Sunday, January 4, 2015

#388 Dress Drama and a Sprained Anke. Woo Woo Woo!

Occasionally at work we have opportunities to attend luncheons or banquets downtown.  Our office buys a table and a certain number of people can attend for free.  In the past I have attended arts luncheons, the NCAA Woman of the Year Awards banquet, and a reception/talk by Billy Jean King.  Friday, December 12, 2014, three co-workers and I attended the United Negro College Fund Masquerade Ball.  This is the seventh year for this event to raise money for UNCF scholarships.  There is a dinner, program, auction and entertainment.  Past entertainers have been Earth, Wind and Fire, Patti LaBelle and Cedric the Entertainer.  This year when the notification came out, I saw the entertainment was Jeffrey Osborne.  I know a few of his songs and thought he would be great to see live.  I emailed a couple girls in the office and we decided to go and take advantage of a free dinner and a show. 

This free event quickly produced some issues.  First, it required a formal dress.  “To the floor gowns”, per the website, and I do not own any formal gowns.  I have tons of short dresses, but none to the floor.  I had a somewhat long dress and guess what?  I gave it to Goodwill last year because I had worn it once in the past 15 years.  Sigh.  I stopped at Macy’s on my way to tennis and found that my second issue would be price.  Almost all of the gowns at Macy’s were in the $300 range.  Ouch.  I tried a few on quickly (advice – do NOT try on dresses when you are in a hurry).  One came to just above my ankles and was beautiful and fit perfect.  They gave me a 25 percent discount, but it was still pricey.  I put it on hold. 

The next night I stopped at a consignment shop near my house called reTULLEd.  Again, I was short on time (they closed at 6 p.m. and I made it there at 5:35 p.m.).  I had called ahead so they pulled a few out for me that were super long.  I tried on several and found one that was really nice.  Black, strapless, and very big and flowy on the bottom.  Price? $80.  That I can handle.  I bought it and a mask they happened to have for $8.  Done!  I wish I had gone back on a Saturday to look at a more leisurely pace, but since I needed this one altered I had to act fast.  The next day I took it to get altered.  My great price dress required $75 worth of taking in.  It was still way below the $300 dresses so I shouldn’t complain (more advice – call ahead to ask an approximate cost for alterations.  Also, take the time to try on lots of dresses and get the one that fits best on the front end). 

I picked the dress up at lunch Thursday and when I tried it on, the top part was a little “off”.  She sewed cups in it so I didn’t have to wear a bra.  Problem was, the cups she used were too large circumference-wise.  When the dress was hanging, the top looked fine.  When I put the dress on and the waist was zipped, the cups pushed up and you could see the black lining poking up a bit.  It was more noticeable when I got it home after work and tried to adjust it more, but by that time I had no time to fix it.  Most people wouldn’t notice it anyway. 

Meanwhile, one of my co-workers had some dress drama of her own.  She found a pretty dress online at Nordstrom Rack for $42, but it was scheduled to arrive Friday.  The day of the dinner.  She thought it would come sooner and didn’t pay extra for express shipping.  As a backup, she found a navy bridesmaid dress at Goodwill for $5.  It was pretty, but not as nice as the one she’d ordered.  All day Friday we kept asking if she had any updates on her dress.  No.  We later found out they had sent it to the wrong address (she had it sent to work) so it ended up arriving the following Tuesday.  Of my two remaining co-workers, one had a long dress and one borrowed one.  Luckeee! 

Dress drama behind us, it was time for the ball!  But wait.  During my Friday morning workout I twisted my ankle doing agility drills.  Yow!  It swelled a little but I was able to walk on it without too much pain.  It did hurt more later in the day but I wasn’t going to let a little sprained ankle jeopardize my dancing!  

Ok, NOW we were ready for the ball.  As we arrived I noticed that a handful of women wore shorter dresses but I am glad I had a long gown.  I follow the rules!  The event was fun (long, but fun) and our time had come to see Jeffrey.  He sounded great and put on a great show.  He’s 66 and super energetic.  He never stood still!  I couldn’t get a good photo because he moved around too much.  He played for an hour-and-a-half.  Toward the end he played, “You Should Be Mine” or the “Woo Woo Song”.  He came down onto the dance floor and gave the microphone to people in the crowd for them to sing, “Can you woo woo woo?”  He started with a few men who were really good and then moved on to some women, who were REALLY good.  As he moved around the floor, the four of us kept backing away from him.  Then he looked around and said, “We need some white people!”  There were not many white people there in the first place, but fewer left out on the dance floor late into the evening.  We were it!  He walked toward us and I attempted to shrink so he wouldn’t see me.  Nice try.  Here he came.  I told him I would sing if I could touch his bicep (he’s pretty buff) and he obliged.  We four ended up singing it together.  I couldn’t hear us so hopefully we sounded ok.  I know we weren’t as good as the others but it was so fun!  We got to sing “Woo woo woo” with Jeffrey Osborne! 

I am now set with a formal dress for any further events.  I highly recommend reTULLEd.  They have formal and shorter fancy dresses.  They also have more casual clothes and coats.  Their prices and selection are great.  They are so helpful and when I returned recently with a friend, they remembered my name.  It’s the little things that make a big difference.  Woo woo woo!!! 

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