Black tie events, some people love them, while others cringe at the thought. I for one love an excuse to dress up. The end to most days find me un-showered and still clothed in whatever I threw on to exercise. If not that, then in jeans, sporting a pony tail of unbrushed hair… I may order my food like Sally in the movie, When Harry Met Sally…
— I know, Jackie, I know…I can feel your disdain from here —
But,when it comes to my general appearance, I could be described as low maintenance.
Earlier this past week a good friend of mine sent me a text asking if Jimmy and I were available to join her, along with her husband, Saturday night. They were going to a black tie charitable ball and due to a cancellation, they had two extra tickets.
Were we available. Just typing those words makes me chuckle, truth is, we usually are.
Over the past few years Jimmy and I have been less social. Friday and Saturday nights often find us in each others company. We both love to cook a great meal, share a bottle of wine, maybe take a jacuzzi or
watch sleep through a movie. More times than not it’s just the two of us. Our daughter, who is the last of three, is the only one left in the nest, between school, her job, lacrosse and friends, she is often anywhere but at home.
So our availability was wide open–we gladly accepted.
As soon as we accepted my first thought — of course — was about what to wear. Long dress, short dress, suit or tuxedo. I have to say I was thrilled over the prospect of seeing Jimmy in a tuxedo again–I am a sucker for a tuxedo–especially when it’s Jimmy wearing it.
The gala itself was beautiful. It was a benefit for the Tri-City Medical Foundation, celebrating 50 years of providing medical service to the community. During the event there was a beautiful tribute to long time volunteers, we watched as a short video honored them, clips of people in the Tri-City community who shared how this couple had helped the foundation. I was reminded how important individuals are when it comes to community building. No act of volunteerism is too small, for it truly does take a village to make services like what Tri-City provides, possible.
The award ceremony was followed by a live auction. Against better judgement, I held up my number when the auctioneer began open bids for the custom surfboard on display. Not sure if it was that secret desire I have to learn how to surf that took hold of my hand or the need to join in the fun, thankfully there was a bidder in the room who usurped my bid to take it home.
The fun was fueled by the free flowing included libations and the great company we have in our friends. We all managed to step out out onto the dance floor, where in 80’s fashion, I jumped up and down to the music, while my rhythm gifted husband and friends, actually danced.
As we were leaving Jimmy leaned in and whispered;
That was really fun, we really should make a point of getting out more often.”
This morning, as I clicked through the series of silly photos we took during the evening, I find I couldn’t agree more.
It’s the month of November, a time when so many of us pause to consider all we have to be grateful for, a ritual that certainly should not be reserved for only 30 days in a calendar year.
Today I am grateful for the near 20 years of marriage Jimmy and I have enjoyed. For it is the time spent living outside the edges of the days that has enriched, if not grown, what we have all along shared.
I am also grateful for friendships–friends new and old. If success was measured by the depth of friendship alone, then I feel as if we have reached a new pinnacle.
And health. Health has been on my mind a lot these days, to inhabit a body that is free from illness is a gift not to be squandered.
2015 is in the headlights, but for now I want to be in the now.
Rather than race through the holiday season — I hope to slow my pace — celebrate the bounty found in family, friends and the freedoms we all benefit from living in The United States. In a world that daily wakes one up to atrocities committed, our ability to move, think and speak freely demands appreciation, if not respect.
Black tie events are few and far between, moments worth appreciating happen every day. And really it is in the string of extraordinary moments that we find a life well lived and for that I remain eternally grateful.