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Friday, November 13, 2015

Marine Ball 2015

After a hiatus last year for language training, Brandon and I attended our third Marine Ball.  Since we're at a new post with new people, I got to reuse my first Marine Ball dress.  This year I didn't have to alter a dress, buy a tuxedo, or alter someone else's dress.

Instead, we left the children at two in the afternoon, took a walk in the park on a gorgeous fall day, and I left Brandon reading a book while I got my hair fixed.  Then we checked into the same hotel the ball was held at and watched half of Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit while making fun of the way Hollywood portrays certain agencies because we had nothing better to do.  We eventually got ready and made our way down to the ballroom to hang out with our friends.

It was much better than shopping for jewelry, sewing on buttons, feeding the children, cleaning up the house, kissing the children for the twentieth time on the way out the door, or any of the other things we did the hours before the Marine ball.  I was relaxed and Brandon wasn't irritated.

The ball itself was fun, of course.  We sat at a table with friends and got to listen to the Secretary of the Navy speak and watch the video and my personal favorite, the Escorting of the Cake.  I wonder how long those Marines have to practice to get the slow walk in perfect synchronization.  The food was quite tasty and our dessert was a spread of ice cream, custard, cheesecake, and mousse.  I hope they hold the Ball at the Sheraton next year, if only for the food.

Brandon finally allowed me to lead him to the dance floor and even smoothed his pained expression enough to make it almost invisible in the low light.  We enjoyed talking with our friends and taking our picture with the Marines.  By 10:30 we were tired, so we took the elevator up to our hotel room and went to sleep.  

The next morning we made it to breakfast by 10, half an hour before it ended.  We ate with our friends and weren't interrupted by any milk spills, requests for more food, or fights over eating food.  When I was done, I walked away and someone else did the dishes. 

We had some extra time before needing to be home, so we walked around the city, window shopping and chatting.  In the end, nothing was bought, but when your whole life is filled with getting things done, it's nice to occasionally do something doesn't get a single thing checked off a list.  It was a crisp, sunny fall day and I enjoyed strolling Dushanbe's wide tree-lined sidewalks holding hands with Brandon.  Even after ten years of marriage and eleven of friendship, we still haven't run out of things to talk about.

When we got home, the children were busy making paper dolls with my housekeeper and her daughter and the house was, as always, spotless.  Nobody had killed each other, nobody starved, and nobody was crying as we walked in the door.  They didn't even rush down the stairs looking for us as soon as the car pulled in.  It was as if they didn't even notice we had left.

I'm already looking forward to next year.

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