Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Saturday night my husband and I went to a masquerade ball thrown by one of his clients. Everyone wore formal dress--tuxedos for the men and ball gowns for the women--and masks. It was like going back in time to an era out of a historical novel. I've been to my share of black tie charity galas--the Heart Ball, the Winter Ball and even a rodeo ball where the men wore cowboy boots with their tuxes and the women got cowgirl creative with their formal wear--but this was the first time for a masquerade ball and the mystery was intriguing.

I wore a black gown, long black gloves and an ornate black-on-black half mask. My husband's mask was gold and cream with a headdress of black feathers. The host and hostess recognized us immediately as did the people we knew fairly well and vice versa. I couldn't help wondering how the heroines in romances conceal their identities so effectively the men have no idea who they were dancing with and, in some of the steamier stories, making love to. Really? I tried to pass my husband off as Tom Ford--same hair, stubble, general physique--but nobody bought that either.

Still, the evening was magical. Okay, the band played more contemporary music than Jane Austin would have expected, and Regency England didn't have the engineering skill to produce the 5" heels I danced in. Still, the champagne flowed, the food was divine and the guests diverse and amusing.

Around 11:30 the Latin guests began to arrive--the host has spent a lot of time in Mexico and South America and the hostess was originally from Columbia so this was expected. The tempo of the music  and the dancing shifted. We went out into the cool evening to catch our breath and sip our wine. At 1:30 we left a party in full swing, but we were tired and sleepy and ready for bed. Guess we aren't as young as we once were, but it was certainly a lovely evening to remember.

I love this scene from "Phantom of the Opera." All that's missing is Gerard Butler, although he shows up briefly at the end. Our party wasn't nearly so over the top but it was a masquerade....

Have you been to any memorable events lately? If you could throw any kind of a party, soiree, grand fete--what would it be and who would you invite?


Sarah Andre said...

Sounds like a fun evening! I had a good laugh at your skepticism with Regency novels. Since I've never been to a Masquerade Ball I guess I never had a problem suspending belief...but now...hmm!

Isn't it interesting that other nations begin dining and dancing so late? (I'm thinking of my time in Italy where sitting down to dinner before 10p meant you were American!)

Oddly, when we adapted to late nights it became part of life, but looking back I think: how does one get thru the next day...day after day?
It's not like we slept in!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Um, Lark, methinks the all-black attire and five-inch heels tipped off your host and hostess to your identity. You can take a girl out of the twenty-first century, but you can't make her give up her trademark look.

Your magical evening sounds wonderful!

Lark Howard said...

I found that in Italy and Spain, too, Sarah. In Spain they have siesta nearly all afternoon so that might explain part of their schedule.In two weeks I never did figure out when anything was open.

Lark Howard said...

The short hair was probably a big factor, Pat. That and my husband's voice and style are very distinctive. :-)

Louise Behiel said...

what a fun night. other than halloween parties, no costume parties in my past.