After a lot of deliberation (and a lot of shopping for accessories for both dresses) I ended up deciding to wear the first dress. Even though it still didn’t quite fit properly (after 3 fittings — seriously?) it just seemed like the more appropriate one. Besides, I liked the jewelry that went with that one better. So, this evening, Dan & I got all fancied up and went to the ball . . . me in my blue dress. We got the boys through an early dinner and bath, and our downstairs neighbors came up to watch them, while we went out.
Pulling up at the Hofburg palace to attend a ball was exactly as cool as I thought it would be — except that it was also 10 degrees outside, and windy, so I didn’t linger over the thought for very long. The palace is beautiful inside — huge halls and ballrooms, marble floors, wide, sweeping staircases, and chandeliers — beautiful, gigantic, sparkling crystal chandeliers, everywhere we looked. We dropped our coats off at the coat check and climbed the red carpeted stairs up to the ballroom . . . and about halfway up the stairs I stepped into the hem of my dress and tore a hole in it. Awesome. We had been in the palace for maybe 5 minutes.
I wasn’t going to let that ruin my night, though, so I fixed it (sort of). (On the plus side, if I’d really loved the dress, I probably would have been even more upset about tearing it.) I tied the broken part up and out of the way and we explored the Hofburg some more. We had some champagne, we checked out all of the rooms, we danced a polka and a Viennese Waltz on an insanely crowded floor full of people who had obviously only recently (if ever) become acquainted with the dances, we had our picture taken (just like prom). It was an amazing experience — full of live music with thousands of people dancing and looking beautiful.
I couldn’t help it, though — I was just a little sad. Even though I know it’s silly, and it isn’t really important, I couldn’t help but be disappointed in my dress. It was hard to go to the effort and expense of having a dress made to still not feel great in it . . . and then to have it torn, too. It was made worse by the fact that we don’t have a full length mirror in our house, so I’d just been guessing about how it looked — but there were mirrors everywhere in the palace. Even though I tried really hard to shrug it off, it stuck with me a bit as the evening went on.
But then we found the salsa room. It was a crowded, smoky room with a phenomenal live band. We went in and started dancing. We got sweaty, my hair came undone and our clothes got a bit disheveled, but we didn’t care. It was so much fun to dance, and enjoy ourselves, and to just focus on that. It was nice to do something familiar and comfortable, something that we’re good at. We stayed and danced in the salsa room for quite a while — they played all of my favorite songs.
We wandered around a bit after that, and saw some of Dan’s friends, but then, just after midnight, we headed home. We were tired, and when we called to check on the boys we found out that they were still awake, so we thought we should relieve the babysitters. By the time we got home, Liam had fallen asleep facedown on the couch, but Benjamin was still waiting to see us. It was so wonderful to be able to give them each a kiss and a snuggle.
We had a great time. The palace was amazing, the music was lovely, the dancing was fun. I’m really glad we went, but next time, I’ll get a better dress.