Sunday, June 5, 2011

The 'same' can be surprising

Now that we have been in Fibrotown for two and a half years, The Builder and I are beginning to notice a little bit of, er, repetition in our social calendar. The various community fundraisers that provide the 'events' in a town of this size, all tend to fall around the same time each year, and take on a similar format from year to year. Which, I confess, can lead to a little bit of 'ho hum' in our attitude towards them. But complacency can often be misplaced.

Last night, we fronted up to our third annual Hall-Near-Fibrotown Ball. We've had a good time in each of the previous years, but were suffering a case of the 'why bothers' this year. We knew the format would be the same, the band unchanged, the faces would be similar - even the fashion wouldn't hold too many surprises as many women I knew, including myself, were planning to wear the same frock as last year, with new accessories. But, it was for a good cause, and we live by the rule that it's churlish to pass up the chance for a night out in an area where they don't come up that much, so we frocked up and headed out into the cold and rain.

We began with a cocktail and a cheese plate at Fibrotown's cocktail bar. Just the two of us, on a sofa, in our finery, enjoying the chance to be grown-ups. "Going somewhere?" asked the barman, nodding towards The Builder's dinner suit with red rose buttonhole. "Just home to watch DVDs," he responded with a straight face. (Yes, we crack ourselves up.)

We arrived at the ball half an hour early - note to self: check the invitation next time - and were promptly dispatched to a friend's house in the next paddock for a pre-ball drink (at which point I was wishing I'd gone with my threat to wear gumboots this year). By the time we returned, the queue for entry stretched beyond the red carpet and into the mud, which gave us plenty of time to catch up with a few people in the line. One of the brilliant things about the ball - which we'd forgotten during the 'why bothers' - is the opportunity to catch up. So many friends in one place, with nobody required to wash up or placate the neighbours.

It was a wonderful night. The best yet. The ball went by in a flash, a series of happy moments (picture one of those sentimental montages they do halfway through schmaltzy movies). There was a lot of laughing, joking and talking. Some quieter moments spent perched on a hay bale, morphing acquaintances into friends. Perhaps a tiny bit of foot stomping and hip shimmying.  There may or may not even have been some interpretive dance.

Before we knew it, we were squashed into a cab with our town friends, reliving the highlights, all of us talking about how much fun we'd had. Expectations are everything, aren't they? It's when you have none that you get the best surprises.

[image: next year, I may be in the same dress again (why mess with a great formula), but I'll be working it back with a pair of wellie boots with knitted boot cuffs, such as these by VintageOfNow/etsy]


  1. So glad you're back.
    I really relate to the lack of social scene: my regular catch ups with friends are usually at Boy 1's swimming or at kinder drop off. You've got to take what you can get.
    Expectations are everything.

  2. That's the fun thing about new places (we move often) is adding to the social calendar with the repeat events you really enjoyed!! I am leaving my gum boots in the car now, after ruining shoes on Friday at a touch football gala (not the kind of gala i am used to) for such emergency muddy opportunities. They are pretty Laura Ashley ones, they'd look gorgeous with a patterned frock & pearls. Love Posie

  3. Most definitely Allison. I have always found the least 'hyped' nights, are the best! Sounds like you had a good old fashioned ball, literally! It's good to make the effort sometimes... even if slippers, dressing gown and lounge seem a more attractive proposition.
    I've missed reading your daily posts. Hope all is going well xo

  4. Lovely to have you back.

    You sound an awful lot more social than the lovely husband and club functions are about it for us.

    Perhaps Fribrotown(and similar) folk make more effort?


  5. I think these are the best nights. The ones that you didn't want to go to but feel glad in the end that you did. A lot better than a night you look forward to that flops, don't you think? Best to stick to low expectations then. Listen to me - didn't think I was such a pessimist!

  6. interpretive dance and bales of hay, sounds wonderful.

    I would love to see the montage of your evening.

    Frock it up!

  7. Often when you expect to least, you get the best. Sounds like one of those nights.

  8. I wasn't expecting a happy ending and what a delight to get one! I always approach these things with a similar attitude to yours. What a waste of great energy?! It is what you make it.

  9. That is so true, it's always the way.
    Sounds like a great night!! :)

  10. I love nights like that. I don't think it's just Fibrotown, either. None of us city-folk are getting out in a big way these days either, so it's the same fundraisers at the same time of year with the same unexpectedly wonderful crowd. x

  11. Hmm, I wonder why we don't have these types of events in GlassHouse? I am tempted to start an annual stone throwing competition for the residents. I crack me up, too.

  12. Yes, yes! Definitely the wellies with knitted cuffs next year. Keep going every year, think of the memories, the traditions you're amking for your family. Eventually the kids will join you in this family tradition and their own memories will begin. Your grandchildren may well say, "nanna and pop have been coming to these balls since the first year they arrived in the district."

  13. "amking"?? What the...
    Making, that should be.

  14. i love that!! and it's so true - expect nothing and you have only one way to go! i hope you did some line dancing!! xx

  15. I'm glad it was such fun! I can see Con's smile from here :-)

  16. Community bonding ...It's funny how even in a small town , so many things happen in people's lives that need to be caught-up-on . After three years , nostalgia but be nibbling the edges of get-togethers .

    Glad that you added your own pre-ball touches to make it your own .

  17. God I'm envious. My social life involves going to Woolworths... So glad you had a fabulous night!! xxxxxx


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