In the six-plus years I’ve spent as a military wife, I have never attended an official Dining Out…until last weekend, that is.
Jarrod and I got all prettied up Saturday night to go to a dining out at Naval Postgraduate School to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.
We started out our evening at our friends’ house. Ethan and Catie invited us over for cocktails, and we wound up carpooling with them. They have a beautiful front patio, and we had to grab some pictures before we left.
We’ve been to quite a few military balls, but I had no idea what to expect from a dining out. The event started at 7PM and was scheduled to be over at 9PM, so I wasn’t expecting much more than a cut and dry dinner and a speaker.
At promptly 7:00, the bagpipe player started playing a tune, and we all paraded into the ballroom to find our assigned seats. Soon after, everyone had taken their seats, and the ballroom doors were closed. We were all told to make sure that we looked in our program to read the rules of etiquette for the night.
Wait, rules? Yep, there they were. Eighteen of ‘em. What kind of stuffy event were we at?
But then we were told what happens if one breaks a rule. Grog punishment. The grog was a mixture of brandy, rum, prune juice, pickles, and who knows what else. Just a second. This stuffy event just turned into a big drinking party!
One of the rules was that no one could leave the ballroom until after the dining out was adjourned. Crud! Where are a pair of Depends when you need them? I knew that there was no way I could make it through the night without a potty break. I already had to go pretty bad. I thought about saying that I was with child, but I had alcohol on my breath, and the virgin grog concoction didn’t sound much better than the alcoholic one. I then asked Jarrod if he would take my grog punishment for me. His answer was no. What a gentleman!
But then I saw my chance. Someone else must have gone out of the door because it was partially open. And it was left unguarded! Catie needed a potty break too, so we both made a dash out the door.
As we were coming out of the restroom, a whole group of ladies were coming in. And down the hall we saw Jarrod and Ethan. Apparently they were called out for Catie and me leaving, and since they had to drink the grog, they headed for the restrooms too.
Upon re-entering the ballroom, Catie and I were led straight to the grog bowl. By this time there was a line. The girl in front of us assured us that it didn’t taste that bad.
The stuff wasn’t half bad! I actually liked it better than the port we had later in the night for toasts.
We were served a wonderfully delicious meal, and then listened to Admiral Gary Roughead (Ret.) speak. Toasts and closing comments followed. The night was still young and we weren’t quite ready to turn in, so we headed downstairs to hang out in Trident Room for a while.
Thanks to Ethan and Catie for coming with us and for inviting us over to your house before the dining out. We had a great time with you guys!