By Kelly Frances
“So much than better prom!” were the words that repeatedly came out of my mouth that night. I was worried that I was going to start annoying people with it, but I couldn’t help myself. The anxiety and excitement that had been accumulating over the previous months had been more than justified. I was quite anxious about the ball because I’m quite ignorant about anything ROTC related. I was worried about making a fool of myself, but Dana made me look perfect which definitely boosted my confidence. I knew she would though- Dana can take a pile of garbage and turn it into the cover of Vogue.
My night started at 2:00pm (or 14:00, as Rowan would say) when I made my way to the France’s house. Dana immediately began piecing together the accessories to the dress. She already had more than enough accessories to select from, one of which was a gold purse that matched the gold sequins on my dress. She made gold scrunched accents with silver spirals that she attached to my
Moving onto hair and make up. Dana painted my face with gold lip gloss and eye shadow, everything matched flawlessly. Rowan managed to interrupt periodically with a time check that did nothing but add pressure to the situation. We had to be there by 5:30. My hair fell beautifully after it was curled. However, Dana knowing my hair -as well if not better than myself-meant that leaving it down for the entire night would not be a smart option. It’d fall less than half way through. Final decision, an up do. Of course, with time pressing, my hair wanted to be difficult during this process. But then I heard the wise words from Dana’s mouth, “Oh, I see what it’s doing” and her creativity and artistic ability really hit me. I can’t express how excited and grateful I was to have someone so insightful and brilliant to be getting me ready for the ball.
A few minutes left before we have to leave, Rowan gets dressed. While it takes me 3 hours to get ready, it takes him about 3 minutes. He looked so handsome; I was so ecstatic. The bow tie was a nice change to the uniform. I thought it made him look even more striking than usual. I don’t know how I managed to be the CO’s date, but I felt extremely lucky, and extremely worried that I would make him look bad if I said something stupid. So game plan for the night: Stand there and look pretty. Having that in mind, I felt a little more prepared and less likely to hyperventilate. He helped load up his mom’s photography equipment in her vehicle and we got in my vehicle. Like a perfect boyfriend, he told me I looked beautiful and had nothing to worry about.
Upon arrival, I was immediately impressed. The men were all in uniform, the girls all in dresses, out of the corner of my eye I saw a practice for the sword arch. "Oh my gosh, that’s so cool! It’s just like the movies!" -I thought. Fortunately, I didn’t say that aloud… Could’ve embarrassed my date within five minutes of being there. Dana wanted to get pictures outside before the sun skipped out on us but Rowan was too worried about getting ready for the receiving line. Being his mother and ruling over any ROTC command, she managed to get some shots before the receiving line.
Receiving line- aka moment of being introduced to everyone and hopefully not screwing up a first impression. Once everyone entered and we must’ve shaken 100 hands, I finally calmed down a bit. Hearing “I’m sexy and I know it” definitely leveled out some of the formality in the room. The sword arch proceeded with the announcement of princes, princesses, queen and king of the night. The tiaras and sashes were given out accordingly. Everyone was seated and Rowan grabbed me to go watch the King and Queen cut the cake. I’m thinking, you’re making me get up in front of everyone to go watch them cut a cake. But then, they cut the cake with a sword. Wait-what?
That is so freaking cool! Why didn’t I join ROTC?! Every time I turn around they have some amazing tradition to blow my mind. The Royalty owned the dance floor for the first song- so cute. Then the rest of us joined in to dance. Granted much of the male population could’ve used dance lessons- everyone danced! No one was awkward or boring; it was just good, clean fun. I love dancing. It surely kicked the last of my nerves away and I just had a lot of fun dancing with everyone. And Rowan danced with me all night, was a complete gentlemen, and treated me like a queen as usual-a refreshing change from my previous prom dates. I don’t know how I managed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people, but I don’t want to question a good thing.
My mom stopped by to get pictures with us which was really sweet. I was really happy she got to see us together all dressed up and whatnot. And I’m pretty sure the company enjoyed the highly anticipated dinner- Papa John’s. Dancing-eating-more dancing. I know it sounds dumb- but it felt like a dream, it was so much fun! The only negative to the night was the time flying. I must admit though, by the time things were being cleaned up and everyone was heading home, I was ready to call it a night. Dancing all night was my workout for the day-that’s for sure. It was a fabulous night with my prince charming. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I don’t know what girl wouldn’t enjoy getting all dolled up to dance all night with a handsome gentleman in uniform.
The music was perfect, the food was yummy (first time trying pineapple pizza.. mmm), and my date is the best ever. I have to admit, hearing everyone call him “sir” and “CO” was another cherry on top to the magnificent evening. It was a breathtaking night and I will forever declare that it was “So much better prom!”