The Friday before last was a day I had been looking forward to--there was a Commandant's Reception on post--cocktail attire!--with a gathering beforehand at Spike's instructor's house. Since I work from home in extremely casual attire, I was thrilled when Spike told me that I'd get to look my best.
At this point, a lot of my clothes and belongings are at my grandmother's house in North Carolina (even though Spike and I are getting hitched soon, we figured there was no point in moving my stuff to Oklahoma now, only to re-pack it and haul it to Fort Riley, Kansas in a couple of months), so I excitedly hunted a new dress to wear. After dragging poor Spike to nearly every store in the mall to no avail, I finally met with success at Ross: a little black dress for the bargain price of $19.99, which was originally priced over $100. (Don't you just love deals like that?)
|My fun new cocktail dress. (You know those people who post professional-quality pictures on their blogs? Well, obviously I'm not one of them yet.)|
The first few minutes at Spike's instructor's house were fun. Honestly. The major is actually a part of the Australian Army, so it was interesting to chat with him and his wife as Spike's classmates and the occasional significant other trickled in. Before long, though, the dining room was packed. And that's when the trouble started.
Major Aussie lives on post in an older house, and the AC unit clearly wasn't up to the task of counteracting the body temperatures of twenty or so adults. What really did me in, though, was my dress. My flattering, fits-like-a-glove dress I'd been so excited to wear. As you can see from the picture, it's strapless, and the bodice is helpfully held in place with boning all around. Except, the boning really wasn't all that helpful--I guess I'd been modifying my breathing all evening because my abdomen couldn't expand as fully as normal. So, the heat, plus standing in three-inch heels, plus shallow breaths, plus wine made me feel fairly unsteady.
I remember listening to Spike and his classmates talk about where they were headed after the career course, and realizing to my surprise that little black dots were starting to swim in front of my eyes. I tried taking deeper breaths, as much as the boning in my dress would allow, while relying more and more heavily on Spike's arm to support my body weight--but no dice. It was either find somewhere to sit, or pitch facefirst into Mrs. Aussie's homemade sausage rolls. I chose the chair, because those sausage rolls were delicious, and I didn't want to ruin them for everyone. Plus, being revived by a bunch of professional soldiers with sausage and pastry crust smeared all over my face would have been really humiliating.
Thank goodness, sitting on the sidelines in Major Aussie's dining room prevented me from fainting, though I still felt a bit woozy for awhile. I told the Captain, who was (I believe) a bit bemused by my precipitous dive for the chair, that I would never again look down on women in historical novels who swoon. After all, I'd never have considered myself to be in any danger of doing so! I guess that's what happens when stays/corsets/boning restrict one's ability to breathe properly. Huh. Who knew?
|One of my historical counterparts. Luckily, she too appears to have missed the sausage rolls in the process of losing consciousness.|
And to add insult to injury, what did I see later in the evening when I walked into the women's room at the officers' club during the Commandant's Reception? A painting of a hoop-skirted Southern Belle, on the verge of swooning--I swear I'm not making this up--in the arms of a mournful-eyed Confederate soldier. Fan-freakin'-tastic. Thanks, universe. I'm not worried, though...I'll think of it tomorrow...at Tara.
Am I the only one who's done this? Please, somebody, speak up.
...also, just received notice that Spike's wedding band shipped. We got my band and engagement ring, re-sized and ready to go, yesterday...so soon, we'll be able to do what I flew out here to do!
...also also, I may or may not have taken my wedding band on a test drive all day. Gotta make sure it doesn't impede everyday tasks, after all.