I left off Part #1 on Monday with Chris and I leaving the hotel room to pick up my brother’s girlfriend. (A lot of you have pestered me about not writing my part #2 sooner, which is really flattering. Blogmas has spoiled us all, but I’m back to my Mon-Wed-Fri schedule, with special posts in between.)
Now, why were we picking her up, and not him? See we ran into a small wardrobe malfunction on our way to the hotel.
My brother realized he never packed his uniform.
So while he and my dad drove the two and a half hours back up the hill, through the traffic, to our home, Chris and I headed to the fourth floor to pick up his lovely date and escort her downstairs with us for “Hors D’oeuvres and Cocktail Hour.”
It was cheese and crackers and a fancy vegetable plate with ranch. I know I sound snobbish, but I honestly think they didn’t try very hard with the veggie plate presentation. The ranch was amazing, though.
We stood and ate, and looked around, and ate, and soon our plates were empty, and we were left to only looking around.
This guy’s uniform was the subject of a lot of our conversation. Chris marveled at how he could possibly sit with all those buttons on the back.
I’m clever, so I smirked at him and said, “that’s why they’re called butt-tons.”
While we waited for my brother, we sent him sad pictures.
I took pictures of Chris and my brother’s girlfriend (I didn’t ask permission to use her name so let’s call her “L”) pretending to be engrossed in intense conversation.
However, they both merely ended up looking short.
Then we played “Sister or Girlfriend?” the rest of the time. It’s when you stare at couples and judge whether they’re siblings or actually in a relationship.
Rule of thumb is: if the girl is hardly wearing clothes, she’s a girlfriend, and if the guy is ten paces in front of her, she’s a sister. Or a really bad boyfriend, as L pointed out.
Finally, the awkwardness was over.
They were reunited, winning the most sought after award for the smallest couple in attendance (a different couple tried to rain on their parade, but we secretly measured them, and my brother and L won, congrats guys!).
We were showed into the dining room soon after for the grand march. It’s when each branch in attendance carries in their flag and stands at attention on the dance floor.
I had a great view of my brother.
Before the grand march began however, Chris had something to ask me.
It began something like, “we’ve been best friends for a little over a year now. . ” at which point I noticed he had an eyelash on his cheek.
We were sitting rather close, so I purposed to lift my elbow over and behind his shoulder in order to reach my hand up and brush it off — and instead, I elbowed him square in the mouth.
He took it well. It jolted his head back a few centimeters. He paused and spluttered, then shook his head and started right back at the beginning, laughing a little, but not losing momentum.
He asked my dad’s permission to court me and asked if I’d do him the honor of being his girlfriend. I accepted.
We then continued on our first official date. I wish I could say it started with dinner, as I’d only had one Flake chocolate and a few little crackers.
But they began with toasts.
There was a lineup of cadets, all toasting to the different branches and family members who support from home.
The last toast was to be taken with water, for those who have gone before us and given their lives for our sake.
Finally, it was dinner time.
We had spinach salad with bleu cheese crumbles, walnuts, berries, and tomato, topped with a garlic-vinaigrette dressing. I’ve honestly never had anything like it, and for my first taste of bleu cheese, I can tell you I’m not really a fan, especially when it’s paired with a vinaigrette.
Though, I picked the cheese out and I ate the rest.
They dimmed the lights and opened the floor to dancing at that time. A thought I found to be insane considering dinner was being served.
Dinner was similar to last year’s, minus my favorite part which was the potatoes. We had rice instead. I mourned for my loss.
It was really good, though. I even ate most of the vegetables after drenching them with salt and pepper.
Chris and I did agree, however, that the vegetarian ravioli plate looked pretty good.
We had a comedian as our guest speaker this year. His name is James P. Connolly. He made us all laugh as he told us his journey from being on ROTC scholarship for the US Marine Corpse to becoming a stand up comic.
Soon after was the parade of cakes brought in by the hotel staff. I, along with fifty other wannabe photographers with fancy Christmas-present camera’s, rushed over to snap a few shots.
By tradition, the junior and senior cadets cut the first pieces — with a saber. I just think that’s awesome.
I got a gold star on my slice of cake. Chris and I were taking bets on whether it was edible or not. It was.
We went for a little stroll, where I ran into one of my old Sea Cadet friends!
Shout out to Domingo!
We returned to find half the dinner guests in formation on the floor, dancing the macarena.
I love group dancing. We joined in until there came a fist pumping song, then we sat back at our table and talked. Actually, what ended up happening was that we waited everyone out, and soon, we were the only guests left in the dining room.
The DJ announced that he was our own personal jukebox.
And you better believe we took advantage.
I missed the macarena, so we asked if we could do that one. Then the DJ came to the floor with us and taught us the electric slide.
Poor L wasn’t feeling too great so her and my brother had left the ball and changed into regular clothes.
For a while, Chris and I have been talking about doing the tango. We each have a little bit of dance experience separately. Well, that was the night!
I heard the DJ yell “wow!” as we took over the dance floor. I wish it was recorded, but I have a feeling that if it was recorded, I would be struck with the harsh reality of how bad we really were. In my imagination, there was a spotlight on us and roses being tossed at our feet. Let’s stick with that.
My brother and L came downstairs looking for us and immediately jumped in as we were dancing to a Taylor Swift song. We even had a four-person conga line of us hopping like synchronized bunnies in a circle.
It was so much fun.
Before he dropped me off, I had a great idea. Since last year, my brother and I took our famous picture of us screaming at a mirror. .
Gotta keep with tradition!
PS. A military guy caught us doing this, and the three of us paused and stared at each other awkwardly.
I hope you enjoyed today’s read!