I Just Want to Dress-Up

Picotte Chronicles

So it started like this.  About a month ago my husband texted me while I was at work and asked if I wanted to go to an airshow in Lincoln, California. He said they were having a Hangar Ball the night before and it's Gatsby Themed. I immediately agreed because I very seldom get the chance to dress up and this one sounded like fun. I would get to channel my inner flapper girl and see my husband in his dress blues so it’s a total win.  What could possibly go wrong? Oh, if I only knew!

Fast forward to two weeks before the dance. I hadn’t found anything to wear yet.  (In my defense, we had just finished the last week of school, our son graduating from high school and his graduation party.) I asked around and someone steered me in the direction of the website Unique Vintage.  On there I found some very cute dresses and ALL the accessories; headband, gloves and the cutest shoes. I ordered it all but it was on Memorial Day. I was very worried it wouldn’t make it in time. After talking to my husband about it, I decided to pay the extra shipping fee to get it in two days.

Over the weekend, I decided that I needed to spruce up the uni-brow. I’m actually pretty proficient at waxing my brows myself (I can picture all you aestheticians cringing out there!) but this evening the stars were not aligned. I wasn’t paying close enough attention and actually dropped a bit of wax on my eyelashes! I was proud because I didn’t immediately panic. I thought I would let it dry and then use some coconut oil to get it off. Easy Peasy! Not so much! I spent a good 20 minutes trying to get the wax off my eyelashes without pulling them out. Pictures of no eyelashes, having to wear fake eyelashes for the rest of my life and other horrors ran through my mind. I was eventually successful with getting it off without pulling out too many lashes. Strike one!

The next day, which was one week later from ordering using 2-day express mail, only 4 days before the actual party and my package finally arrived. I couldn’t wait to get it all out and try on my treasures. I was pleasantly surprised with how heavy the dress felt and it seemed to be well made. The shoes were super cute and everything else is all there. Step one was trying the dress on. Concern immediately coursed through my veins when the dress was snug as I pulled it up over the booty. I double-checked the size but it was the right one. Oh boy… it was definitely tight.

My husband was still at work, so I called my nine-year-old daughter to my room for backup. At times like this, I’m thankful she’s a miniature adult in a kid’s body. She worked on helping me zip it. It was excruciatingly slow progress and I was sure the zipper was going to burst at any moment, but finally with one last muscle, she got that baby to the top. I would have let out a sigh of relief had I been able to breathe.

After a few moments of worry, I decided to get the entire look on to show my husband since he was on his way home.  I had to put the shoes on standing up because I was afraid to sit down in the dress and blow out the zipper.  The shoes were unique to the time frame with narrow 4-inch heels. I don’t wear heels very often so I thought I would go all out! I got the shoes on and straightened up. They looked really good and made my legs look amazing so I was very happy. Granted, I probably wasn't going to be able to walk the day after the party, but the price we pay to look good, right!?

The next step was to try on the long gloves. I go to pull those on, and satin gloves are awkward anyway, or at least for me. The fingers look like they’re child-size in circumference, but made for someone with fingers twice my length. Good grief! I was standing in our kitchen, trying to pull the gloves on when our current graduate walks in the house. “Mom! What are you doing?” he exclaimed in surprise/ horror. I brought him up to speed and finally got the entire get-up on. Then I was just waiting for my husband to get home and suddenly my house starts to feel like it’s 100 degrees from all the exertion.

Like any classy lady does in this situation, I cranked up the air conditioning and found a vent near the front of the house so I could stand over it while I watched for my husband. I turned suddenly and properly stuck both heels into the vent and they wouldn't budge. My daughter and the graduate both sprang into action and quickly unbuckled each shoe so I could step out. Our 11-year-old enjoyed the show and responded with deep belly laughter, which I quickly scoffed at. One shoe easily came out but the other was deeply wedged in the vent. I watched in horror as the 18-year-old tried to pull the shoe out of the vent. One loud pop later and I was sure he broke the heel off. Luckily for me, it came out with just a few scratches that I was able to cover with sharpie marker (please tell me I’m not the only one!).  Strike two!

I was able to get the shoes back on to show my husband when he got home so I could garner his appreciation. I decided with another try-on and some really strong spanx, the dress would work even though I probably wasn’t going to eat much at dinner on our special night! Our eleven-year-old made me promise I would bring another dress just in case I had a clothing malfunction, which wasn’t a bad idea anyway. It seemed like it was all going to work out. Oh, but the fates were at work!

The shoe offender...

The shoe offender...

The following day I was at the pool with the kids. My husband made it home before we did and let our dogs into the house. Our pit bulls are very well behaved in the house and we hardly ever have an issue, but our min-pin is another story. Let’s just say that an open bedroom door was his invitation and the shoes, in a bag, on a chair, in our room, wasn’t enough persuasion to keep him away. Needless to say, by the time we got home, Duke was back outside in a long time-out and my right shoe was unsalvageable. I was very upset with him and had to go to the front yard for a time-out of my own.  After a visit to Amazon (so thankful for that Prime membership!) I ordered ANOTHER pair of shoes, this time with one day shipping added on. Strike Three! (I think we should have called it a day but it couldn’t get worse, right?)

Finally the day of the event arrived. My husband’s shop was taking a helicopter over to the airshow to do a search and rescue demonstration the next day, so he needed to fly in the helicopter with the crew. I was driving over to meet them on the other side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The unfortunate event was even though it was June, there was a huge storm moving over the mountains. I don’t know much about flying helicopters, even though it’s my husband’s job, but when I pulled into Reno and saw the white curtain of clouds covering the entire top of the mountains, my stomach dropped. I hadn’t heard from my husband so I quickly started texting him to see what was happening.

Thank goodness for my sanity, he answered quickly that they landed in South Tahoe and were waiting to see if the storm would pass. He told me to plan on waiting around for a couple of hours until they had more news. I had some errands to run, so I kept busy. I was sure we were going home and all this work would be for nothing. A few hours later, he told me to drive to Truckee and then wait to hear again. Pretty soon I heard back and drove to the airport in Truckee because they were grounded once again.

I arrived at the airport in Truckee and we sat with his crew for a while at the small airport. My husband decided to drive with me the rest of the way and leave the crew in Truckee so we could try and make the dinner. They decided to sit around a few hours and see what the weather was going to do to determine if they would be able to make it over the hill or if they would have to head home. I felt sorry for them because many of their families were over in California waiting for them to get there.

Finally my husband and I were back on the road heading to our final destination (that seems like a poor choice of words if you’re a fan of the movies.). We started on I-80 and had three hours before the dinner was starting for the hangar ball. We were just going to make it with a good hour and half drive. I started feeling pretty good that finally we were going to make it when I went around a sharp corner on the highway and had to hit the brakes. The traffic was at a standstill!

I was convinced that we were finally stuck for good. After sitting there waiting for the traffic to move for about 20 minutes, repeatedly checking my Waze app to try and figure out what caused the wreck (it turned out to be a jack knifed big-rig) we slowly started to move. Excruciatingly slow, but pretty consistently, we began to make some progress. With every passing mile, my hopes began to rise that maybe, just maybe this dress up event was actually going to happen.

One hour before the dinner started, we screeched into the parking lot of our hotel. Both of us were ready to go with full dress in forty-five minutes. I couldn’t believe it that this evening was actually going to happen for us. Well, more for me but my husband was his signature supportive self. On our way to the airfield, my husband received a message from one of the crew that they were able to squeeze through an opening in the clouds and made it over the hill. They would be landing at the airport the same time we were arriving for my first hangar ball! All in all, it was a crazy week leading up to it, but in the end we had a good time which made all the extra drama worth it!