We were invited to a dinner dance. I used to love that sort of thing, probably when I changed shape less regularly and could depend on my dress fitting in all the right places. I also find wearing heels a real struggle now, my feet are used to wearing wellies and I have a tendency to totter in anything else. Hard to stride in heels.
The invitation said ‘Black Tie’. Easy for the men then, just a bow tie and dinner jacket. But does that mean a long dress or a cocktail dress? Decided to take both just in case (we were staying over.) Both were tighter than I remember.
So, off we went to the dinner dance. We checked into a nearby hotel, looked at the room, which seemed small but nice, had a quick look at the 92 channels on the tele which all showed the same thing, played a bit of Candy Crush (as you do), then I casually asked Husband what the time was. It was fifteen minutes before the bus left that took us to the venue.
Went in to bit of a panic. Brushed hair, found tights, squeezed into dress, etc. Now, when I said that ‘Black Tie’ was easier for men, that was bit of an assumption. It is possible for men to mess up here. Husband then announced that he had forgotten cuff links.
We both paused. His shirt is one of those posh fiddly ones which has no buttons, you wear fancy studs at the front and the double cuffs are fastened with cuff links – which he had forgotten. Luckily he was a Boy Scout, always prepared, and he had string in his pocket. Yes, string. So I tied the cuffs together with string, tied a tight knot, cut the string close and hoped no one would notice. Husband assured me that a) this was not as funny as I was finding it and b)this was clearly the precursor to all the very expensive knotted cuff-links that you can now buy in shops. I wasn’t convinced.
The next disaster was when Husband realised that he had also forgotten the studs that fasten the front of his shirt. This was more of a problem. A shirt held together by bits of string would be obvious (and it was so not that kind of event.) We considered abandoning the dinner (a bit rude to the hosts) or trying to find a shop (unlikely.)
Then Husband – ex Boy Scout – realised he had a sewing kit in his bag. This included buttons, a needle and a tiny length of white cotton. I was grateful that Mum forced us to learn to sew when children, and I sat on the bed and sewed on four buttons where they would show. There was enough cotton for three loops per button, so if they were put under any strain at all, they would fall off.
We rushed to Reception, caught the shuttle bus to the venue and had a wonderful evening. There were lots of important, running major organisations, semi celebrity people present – and us, with a shirt tied up with string and precarious buttons. Found myself giggling at odd times. But the dinner was fabulous, the people were interesting, the buttons survived the dancing; and I think that no one noticed…..
Thanks for your letter, hope you enjoyed Easter. I certainly will NOT be hitting you over the head if you agree to help with something else. You are a brilliant help! I think we work very well together actually – as long as I am in charge. I like that I can just ask you to do something and you can read instructions and do it – surprisingly few people in the world can do that. It is a shame you are going back to Canada, sisters should definitely live on the same continent……
Love, Anne x
You can read my sister’s letters at : http://ruthdalyauthor.blogspot.co.uk
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