crazy stuff,  Family Matters,  I'm an idiot,  Life Lessons,  party party

The fancy party that was NOT

us plus Bug

I think it was wishful thinking on my part. I read the invitation, looked at the sparkly star and thought it was a fancy party. All the other holiday parties I’ve ever been to were fancy parties. The wording said it was a “hospitality” party and hell if I know what that means. I just assumed it was the regular deal, you know champagne, valet parking, maybe a gift bag…

Apparently it does not mean fancy party. It means an open house with the whole city of Laguna Beach cramming into a tiny building, drinking sangria and there are kids running around with juice boxes. THERE WERE KIDS THERE WITH JUICE BOXES! What?!! If only I had known! I could have worn jeans and brought Bug. Sheesh! Toby sort of had a hunch it wasn’t a fancy party but you know how well husbands communicate with their wives, speaking Martian and such.

I had been fretting about the party all day in that good sort of happy-excited way. I found an old dress that I had forgotten about in my closet. I love this dress. It’s covered with dark blue sequins that change colors in the light. It flows like a flapper dress and it’s loads of fun to dance in. This dress has danced on many many dance floors and it has never done me wrong. The thing is, I haven’t worn it since 1998 or something. What? It’s a classic!


I tried it on and it still fit! So I found my fanciest stockings, put on my murderous feet-eating high heels and donned my old fancy dress. Then I waited for Toby to get out of the shower so I could wow him with how I STILL fit my old fancy dress.

He laughed at me and told me to go change. He said I looked pretty but that my dress was way too fancy. I was so heart broken. I really wanted to wear that dress. Whatever. So I put on my other dress (that I wear to every single shindig since 2008) and we were good to go. I kept my fancy murderous feet-eating high heels on.

all of us


When we got there, there was no valet parking. There was no parking at all!! The whole town was out and traffic was INSANE. Traffic in Laguna Beach is always bad but tonight it was like Mardi Gras. We parked about a mile away from the party and walked.

You can guess about how long I lasted in my murderous feet-eating high heels on a mile long hike down hill. About a block. Then I chucked those heels into my purse and walked the rest of the way in my tights. Good thing I decided to wear thick winter tights and not the sparkly nylons.

I don’t know how all you other girls walk in heels but my feet just cannot do it. I’m thinking it’s because I have super high arches and only the ball and heel of my foot actually touch my shoe. No amount of insoles can help me. Usually, I just deal but these shoes were designed by the devil. They make me feel like I’m walking on wooden stilt toe shoes. Maybe it’s just me.

By the time we ended up at the cram-packed office open-house party I was pretty much over the whole deal and wishing I was at home asleep. We milled around the crowd for about twenty minutes. Neither Toby nor I knew anybody except the man who was throwing the party and after we said our polite hellos, we decided to bail. I don’t think anyone noticed.

It was only 9 o’clock and we had a babysitter. Neither of us really wanted to go home so we drove around for a bit trying to remember what we used to do back in the days when we dated and actually liked to spend time with each other for fun. I mean it’s not like we don’t like to spend time with each other, we just don’t do it much. We’re a bit out of practice.

I really wanted to go see New Moon (I still haven’t seen it) but we were twenty minutes into the show and I really want to see the whole movie no matter how bad the critics say it is. Finally, I remembered that we had a gift card to a fancy seafood restaurant. Someone gave it to us for Christmas last year but we’ve never used it because I hate fish. But it would be perfect for getting a drink at the bar and maybe desert.

When we got there it was packed. Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve been out past 8 pm. Where do all these people come from? We were going to give up on the cocktail idea but just as we were driving past the entrance a parking spot opened up right up front. It was like it was divine intervention. We had a babysitter, we had a gift card, there was a front row parking spot… How could it go wrong?

Well, there was a 45 minute wait to get a table. I thought that was too long but Toby thought the hostess was probably over-estimating. We sat in the car and talked for thirty minutes. We watched everyone come and go in their fancy going-out attire. It was the best date ever.

Then we got a table. I ordered a yummy artichoke appetizer, Toby ordered some giant jumbo prawns that looked like they were doing the Shamu wave and we topped it off with two whiskey sours. It was lovely. The candle light flickered. I felt like a girl in love.


No really, I did. It was really nice. You have no idea. We NEVER do this. I know everyone is going to say we need to do this monthly or weekly but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’ve been down that road before and it’s not worth it. I’m happy with my workable marriage.

I’m just happy it happened. I think it was better than a fancy party.


  • bethany actually

    Hey, you finally got to use the gift certificate to the fancy-dancy restaurant AND you found out an old favorite dress fits AND you got a date! Win, win, win! :-) I’m glad you had a good time even if the party wasn’t all that.

  • beck

    LOVE it!!! It’s nights like that that remind me why we got married in the first place – ooooooh yeaaaaah, it IS nice spending time with just you and being able to talk about whatever without being interrupted 18 thousand times.

    We have made a recent arrangement with another couple to alternate date nights and childcare. So we watch their kids while they have a date night and then next time it’s our turn to go out while they get our kids. We get out about once a month and it’s been FANTASTIC!

  • Jummy

    Oh what a lovely tale! You looked lovely in the less fancy dress and absolutely HOT STUFF in the sequined number. You must find an occasion to wear that dress again!

  • Jennifer W.

    That sounds like the best date night ever. I’m the one not into date nights around here. It just feels so forced, and I’d rather spend an evening at home in my jammies with my baby girl sleeping on the next room. I’m thinking the hubs needs a night out though. Maybe he’ll surprise me and we will have a spontaneous night on the town and I’ll surprise myself and enjoy it. I absolutely love your words and tone of this post. Made my night :)

  • Sarah

    I love how you saved the evening together. I bet you had a much better time than the others at that party! Now for Toby to find somewhere for you to go together where you can wear that sexy sparkly number!

  • a chris

    Wow, that was an incredible save. That evening tried reasonably hard to disappoint, but you and Toby beat it with perseverance. I’d say the prize was well-deserved.

    Sometimes the thing you think you’re supposed to do or you’ll miss out…isn’t. Isn’t it neat when the disappointments make the victories especially sweet?

    Oh by the way, I’m not even going to say how completely I can beat you for re-use of “the party dress.”

    I had to get a new one only because I needed a maternity dress for a couple of weddings last year. Ours was one of them. :D

    I can’t stand high heels either.

  • Sam

    You look great in your dress from 1998! What a crazy night, but y’all saved it and had a good time anyway. I’m giggling over KIDS WITH JUICE BOXES. Dude, nothing says un-fancy like KIDS WITH JUICE BOXES!

  • Kuky

    I think heels are uncomfortable regardless of your feet. I’m the opposite from you, I have tiny barely there arches and I still can’t wear them.

    I’m of the mindset that anyone who thinks heels are comfortable must have had heels beat their feet into submission to think that.

    Feet: Heels you hurt. I don’t like you.

    Heels: (Beating commences) Die feet die!

    Feet: I die. Heels are the bestest!

  • Lori

    you should have kept the fancy dress on — you looked smokin’ hot and that fits in *everywhere*. ;^)

    glad you had a great date!

  • pinky

    I can’t wear heels either – I love how they look but they absolutely kill all areas on my poor feet!

    And I will add to the chorus of how awesome do you look in that sequined dress! It was too fancy for juice boxes, but I’m sure you can find another reason to wear it :-)

  • Meemo

    I can’t even remember our last date night. We attempted for one on Saturday but when babysitting fell through, I took my sister to the movies instead. I just needed some get out of the house time.

    Your date night sounds like my ideal.

    How cool that you fit into a 10 year old dress and you look hot in it. I’m still trying to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans.

  • Sondra

    Ok, first off – heels are cute to look at, but wretched to wear! I buy them with the intention of “they will hurt until they are broken in and then I’ll wear them all the time because they’ll be the most comfortable shoes on earth!” And then they collect dust in my closet. Second – the dates you don’t plan are always the best. Even for a perfectionist-planner-OCD people like me. :) Too much effort and the expectations just won’t match reality.