Balls and Gowns

Ever heard of a bucket list? Sure you have, after all you are from this universe. If, in any case, you aren’t, please feel free drop in a message. I’d love to interview— yup, that is a euphemism for interrogation— an alien.

Do you have a bucket list? If you don’t then I have four words for you: Why the hell not? Sit down right this moment and jot it down.

I have a bucket list because I am after all, my fascination with aliens notwithstanding, an earthling. One item in my list is balls and gowns.

Long time back, I read my first European historical romance. History had never been a favorite subject of mine so it was surprising when I found myself gobbling up information about the period, from books and internet. If anyone has read about British Aristocracy, and here I don’t mean just in novels (they’re wonderful reads, though), but for knowledge purposes from authentic accounts, you’ll understand it has its appeal. I, for one, was fascinated.

Talk about double standards, you’ll find plenty. Where some rules are outright makes-me-smile awesome, others are downright makes-me-see-red aggravating and a few in between are simply roll-my-eyes amusing. In so far as conservatism goes, they’re a little modernized weighed against their Indian contemporaries. I’d say this was what fascinated me. The unlikeness and likeness between our culture and theirs—the differences are glaring and the parallels surprising.

Humans, I tell you, are remarkable in their complexities. I’d still say I am not a fan of history as we’re taught in schools and colleges, but I am a goner when it comes to life stories, environs and mannerism included. Never mind the above inclination I have a soft corner for a particular era, so to speak. Everyone has biases, now don’t they! I have mine. The intricacies and delicacies of the regency period captivate me more than others.

So naturally, some items in my bucket list are inspired from it. Hence, balls and gowns.

I am sure by now you’ve taken the hint and know where I am headed with this. No groans allowed. You have to read it (battling eyelashes).

Balls, I believe, have an air about them, regal and romantic. Don’t you think so? The very thought of them makes me sigh and slip into dream world, eyes wide open. You’d assume I’d want to dance in a ballroom. Heck, no. God, my friends, has made my muscles generously stiff, they, quite simply, refuse to budge. I’d dance, if only my body obliged me.

Thing is, I don’t want to dance . . . I want to waltz (whoever says waltz is dancing, I hereby give you royal ignore).

I want the waltz to be private, too, and under the stars.

Here’s the scene . . . There’s a ballroom teeming with people, humming with chatter and music, lit with laughter and lamps. Then there’s me, in a flowing, scarlet gown and a silver mask. Of course, there’s a tall guy and I’ve left his description to fate, more or less, emphasis on tall.

After the customary hello-hi and small talk, some light flirting and teasing smiles, he’d ask me to dance. And since I don’t dance, I’d naturally be hesitant. The guy has his work cut out for him. He’s got to talk me into dancing and then he’s got to steer me away from the crowd to the balcony. Did I mention the ballroom has a balcony? The balcony is spacious, decked with climbers and dark but for the starlight. We waltz under the stars and what comes after that, I’ve left for destiny’s orchestra. And you know the best part, in the end, it’s not the waltz that’ll matter, it’s the guy.

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Initially when waltz was introduced in the British high society, the gentry looked down upon it, because of too much intimate contact in public (in modern slang what we know as PDA-Public display of affection). Even holding a lady’s ungloved hand was considered intimate, so much so that it was deemed improper behavior. So, of course, hands-on-the-waist was considered positively scandalous. Subsequently it was accepted as fashionable (modern day what we’d call the in thing) by the ton (British high society). Even then, only a certain minimum distance between the partners was accepted and if a couple dared come closer than what was regarded respectable distance, tongues were bound to wag. Wondering what the point of this waltz info is? Well, such a waltz would be what the ton then thought of as wicked. I want to wicked waltz under starlight with Mr. I-haven’t-met-him-yet.

That’s one of the high priority things-to-do on my bucket list. It’s so girly it makes me cringe and giggle (silently), all at once.

It’s a silly fantasy, I know, albeit one I ardently hope comes true. Life is too short to not do silly things. That is not to say life must be wasted on silly things. But once in a while, we should dispense with practicality. Realism is never to be lost sight of, but let’s not be so realistic as to lose sight of dreams. Be practical in life but be daring when you dream. Dream big, let some be silly, some beautiful, some emotional, some practical, but let them all be you.

Dreams will only come true if we dream, don’t you agree?!

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