Having spent all yesterday recuperating from attending the inaugural swearing in ceremony, parade, and official ball, I am writing my inaugural ball entry a day later. While at the Western Ball, one of the ten official inaugural balls where both the president and vice-president danced with their wives, I basked in the glow of my hustle and maintaining my integrity throughout the entire waiting process. From November 2008 to January 2009, many party promoters and organizations have flooded my email and Facebook accounts with their own inaugural balls with a higher price tag than the official ball.
I vividly remember last December 2008 when one of the Young and Powerful representatives wanted me to pay $200 to serve as host for its series of unofficial inaugural events. I replied to Crystal that I could not fork over $200 for an unofficial ticket when the official presidential ones were still unavailable. Attending the real ball was my primary objective. During this two-month period, I saved over $1000, forwent buying extravagant Christmas gifts at deep discounts, participated in DC for Obama, subscribed to the Presidential Inauguration Committee's Twitter feed and email updates, and conducted thorough due diligence to discover that the official ball tickets started at $150, $100 cheaper. On January 14th, Adam, the DC for Obama president, sent me an email with the special Ticketmaster link tp purchase my tickets. Immediately I bought the Southern and Western ball tickets at $173.75 ($150 plus $23.75 processing) apiece and forwarded the link to all of my friends.
Beginning Friday, January 16th, I started searching for the perfect ball gowns. My after work trips to Neiman Marcus at Mazza Gallerie, Bloomingdales at Chevy Center and Nordstrom at Pentagon City were unfruitful. Exhausted, I realized that I skipped Lord and Taylor at Friendship Heights and should visit there Saturday.morning before proceeding to Tysons Corner.
Saturday morning bright and early I boarded the red line train for Friendship Heights and walked into Lord and Taylor where I found the prettiest gray sequined gown. I flagged down a retail associate to give me a dressing room but after ten minutes I left the dress on the rack because I refused to wait that long for one to open up. Right afterward, I traveled to Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue to see if they carried the designer I wanted. Upon learning that they did not, I returned to the red line where I rode the train to Metro Center to transfer to the orange line to Dunn Loring to ride the 2C to Tysons Corner's Lord and Taylor store (During this commute, I realized that the 2C bus left after my orange train arrival so I rode past Ballston). While waiting at the bus shelter, I remembered my whole 3T debacle. Boarding the wrong train lengthened my Tysons Corner trip 50 minutes. If I did not have that experience, I would had made the same mistake once it pulled up. When the 2C finally arrived I boarded it and within 10 minutes I was there.
Knowing that Nordstrom carried my designer I went there first (plus it anchored the entrance.) but it did not have it. Later I traveled to Jessice McClintock which stocked some very pretty gowns but none of them appropriate for the official inaugural balls, therefore, I continued to Bloomingdales where once again, the larger store did not have my particular designer. Finally, I tried the Lord and Taylor and, viola!, there my dress was but in a size 10. Undeterred, I decided to try it on and it fit. That was amazing because 12 was my normal size. Immediately, I purchased it and headed to the Chanel counter to buy all of the requisite makeup. As soon as I sat down, I told the ladies that this was where I had to purchase my makeup because I wanted to look like a sophisticated lady. This was no time for CVS makeup! After purchasing my lipstick, liquid foundation, lip liner and eye makeup, I thought about how empowering it was to save the $1000 cash and to use the 20% off coupon to save even more money. Having purchased the first gown that I wanted, I boarded the 2C bus to Dunn Loring, transferred to the orange line to Metro Center then reboard the red line to Friendship Heights to buy the second dress that I wanted. Upon returning to a now bustling Chevy Chase store, I managed to try on the black halter sequined dress then bought a black purchase. Cumulatively I saved $131.20 on my total purchases giving me breathing room. Furthermore, it made me almost forget not buying the Badgley Mishicka ball gown that I really wanted.
This shopping experience reaffirmed the importance of hustle and staying true to myself because I could had settled for buying the white sequined dress in a size 12 but that was not the one that I wanted; just like that I could had settled for buying the unofficial ball ticket but I saved and waited for the official one to come. These two examples exemplified how patience and integrity were necessary towards being successful in anything.