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Birthday Ball musings (09/15/2004)
By Cynthya Porter

The Birthday Ball is one of the few times a year in Winona when people don their best to eat, drink and be merry, sashaying from some of Winona's swankiest homes to an even swankier Winona Country Club with a few hundred other ball-goers.

Who can resist putting on a beautiful dress, eating fabulous food and dancing the night away? Okay, well I can't, so my husband and I usually attend, and this year I thought I might impart my compiled advice based on my vast experience with the Birthday Ball.

Okay, in reality this is just the top ten list of things I learned at the Birthday Ball this year, in no particular order but hopefully useful to future ball attendees none-the-less.

1. Nametags don't stick to beaded dresses. In fact, they stick to skin better than anything, unless you put lotion on like me. Then they just end up on the bottom of someone's shoe.

2. Trying to go from the Renaissance Festival to the Birthday Ball is dumb. We don't all have fairy godmothers like Cinderella.

3. If you pull up to the Country Club playing hip hop, the college valets think you're really cool. Or maybe they think you're too old to be stealing their music. Not sure on that one.

4. No matter how cute the shoes are, if they hurt at 6:30 you will be in agony by 10 p.m. Better choice, wear ugly shoes (according to my daughters, anyway) like I did. Hey, so what if they looked like my grandma's shoes (thanks again girls)? At least I wasn't barefoot getting my toes crushed.

5. If you are barefoot, say, to stand on a chair to take a picture, for example, it's also best to not stand on your sweep train when you climb up. I'll never forget the looks on the faces of the people around me who thought I was going to crash through the table WWF-style onto their laps. It was almost a big header in a pretty dress.

6. It's really stupid to wear a sweep train at all, especially to a shindig like the Birthday Ball. It's hard to gracefully saunter through a room when someone is repeatedly almost ripping the back of your dress off.

7. When I told my friend Sondra, "Hey Sondra, Aretha called, she wants her dress back," she didn't think it was very funny. I, however, thought it was hilarious. Over and over.

8. When you tell people you'll be doing a lounge act in a little bit, sometimes they're not sure if you're kidding.

9. The valets from the WSU baseball team were more than happy to hand over their Birthday Ball berets for the people who pulled up playing hip hop music earlier. Just kidding, it was all cash and yes, committee members, I'll give it back.

10. The Birthday Ball is fun, but it can't be more fun than you decide to make it, which perhaps explains why we had such a superb time. It was everything we wanted it to be, and we gave it everything we had.

So many thanks to the fine committee that again treated this community to an evening of the high life at the annual Birthday Ball. It was a soiree to be sure, and we'll see you again next year. 


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