Etiquette guidance for attending a Regimental Ball..

Got this in my work email today and thought I’d share..     take notes in case YOU ever attend a ball of your own, if you do then you’ll be one step ahead of everyone else!

ETIQUETTE GUIDANCE FOR THE MESS

These guidelines are provided so all will be informed of what’s expected at a formal mess:

– No beverages in the receiving line.

– Receiving line is a time for greeting, not work or other related conversations.  Please be brief in order to allow all other attendees the same privilege and keep the line moving.

– Ladies go through the receiving line first (except for White House or diplomatic visits).

– Do not shake the Adjutant’s hand.  The Adjutant will be the first person in the receiving line, and their job is to introduce the members of the mess to the official party.  Provide title and name to the Adjutant (i.e., SPC John Doe, Ms Jane Doe).

– Remain standing in the mess (dining) area until the colors are posted.

– The youngest member of each table is responsible for charging glasses for the toasts.  This is best done well in advance of beginning the toasts.

– Distinctive unit insignia is not worn on shoulder boards of Class A/ASU when wearing the uniform to a formal function.  White shirt and black bow tie will be worn with the formal uniform.  For all of the formal uniforms, females must wear skirts.  Only color guard may wear pants.

– The traditional toasts can be with any beverage, but:

– The Toast for the Fallen should always be done with water.

– This is not the time to propose a toast to one’s significant other.

Remember to always be courteous to the speakers (narrators, guest speaker, etc.).  Keep private conversations to a minimum and low level while speakers are addressing the mess.

Vintage family snail mail

My grandmother kept this congratulatory letter from her brother after the birth of my mom.   It’s surreal to know that this is how people once communicated because this is all they knew.   My uncle got word of my mother’s birth through a written letter.  Not an electronic message,  television, radio or even a newspaper.    After getting the news my uncle sat down, put quill to paper and wrote his sister a letter of congratulations.

letter page 1letter page 2

It reads:

“Dear Lillian and all,   December 16, 1931

Congratulations, your card was forwarded to me by Emma (?)
So it is a girl, and you gave her a name i always liked
How I would like to meet her and i would like to send her a present worth while but will have to wait until I am doing something. but she will have something coming so you can tell her that for now.
I am glad you are all right for i must admit I was worried.
The cards you sent out are the best I ever saw (can’t read the following 4 words)
I wrote Bill yesterday suppose he has my letter by now.
Sorry I can’t send you some money to help you out but may be able to send some later.
Write when you are able and tell me all the news.
Wm Loftus”

Sweet memories 🙂

Spinning yarns vs just plain bullshit

This has been good therapy writing about things from my past that have taken residence in my memories all these years.  Just about every little thing you go through as a kid can be considered a life lesson,  and sometimes you learn things by watching other peoples’ mistakes.    In this case, it was my ex.

He was all about status and how he looked to others. It was that mentality that rocketed me to an eating disorder and made me think for many years that I wasn’t good enough for anybody except for him.   When you’re in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship the days all blur together and it’s very easy to get into the mindset that the way you are living at that very moment IS going to be the rest of your life.    I know I could have left at any time and I should have left, but I didn’t.   Thus the life lessons that I learned while I was with him.

He was very insecure.   Like, VERY insecure.   Every human being has some form of insecurity inside them.  It’s normal. Everyone, whether they choose to admit it or not really does care what others think about them.    Some of us just hide it better than others.    X tried to impress others by stories.    Stories I heard a million times whether or not I was actually there at the time or not.  He had a twist though,  he would twist the truth and add details every time he told it in order to get more of a reaction from his audience.   At first I thought it was a unique creativity he had in telling stories… but later on I saw it for what it was.  A really sad attempt at making people think he was more interesting and mysterious than he really was.     After a while, out of morbid curiosity  I would purposely bring up a particular story for him to recant to those we were with just to see just how much more he would twist a story that was originally very normal. At the time I didn’t see it as mockery, but that’s exactly what it was.   He was so serious when he would tell about these ‘experiences’,  and I found it entertaining to see just how far he would stretch it.      This is an example of what I mean.

Original story:   (What I actually witnessed)

One day at Disneyland we were standing outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.    A girl who was smoking a cigarette and dressed in denim walked past us into line leading up to the ride.  As she passed underneath the arch that read “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN”  she took her cigarette out of her mouth and flicked it at the wall near where the trash can was.   It bounced off the wall and landed nowhere near the trash can as she continued into the ride.

End of story

The story that it ended up to be:

We were at Disneyland standing outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  Suddenly we heard behind us a ‘TIK TIK TIK’ sound.  We turn around and see this tall thin REALLY ANGRY chick walking past us.  Her hair was spiked up in several jelled spikes,  she had on a denim jacket with spikes and the “TIK TIK” sound we heard were the metal spikes on the bottom of her what HAD to be 8 inch, if not longer heels.   She was dragging long heaves on her cigarette and looked like she was ready to fight anyone that looked at her wrong.    So, there was a sign right next to the entrance of the ride that says “No smoking past this point”.    Without breaking a step she takes one last heave on her cigarette and flicks it (imitates a peeetoyyeeeee sound to enhance the fact she flicked it so violently from her hand )   It bounces right off of the part of the sign where it says ‘no smoking’ and sparks fly everywhere.   There were a group of tourists standing nearby that had to step back otherwise the cigarette sparks would have hit them.  Oh my god!  It was so crazy!

annnnnd  scene!

The second story captivated his audience and got more of a reaction so therefore while he told it he was the center of attention.   He did that all the time even with the smallest of topics.   Another example,  his cousin Rusty.. who I was terrified of meeting by the way he was described to me.   The day I met him I thought I would be meeting a guy that closely resembled Charles Manson.   Scars all over his body from the numerous fights he was in throughout his life.   He only had tunnel vision in one eye due to being hit by a rock by a group of kids while he was younger.  He barely spoke and had a wolf as a pet, oh.. and a squirrel as a pet too.

Rusty turned out to be the sweetest person I had ever met.   (Years later after I had long left the X,   he considered me a part of his family.   His mom had taken me under her wing and helped me get back on my feet since I had invested everything I had in my relationship.  I had zero money, no place to live and decided that being desolate was a better option than continue my life with X which was clearly going nowhere.  My mother had recently passed away and I had nowhere to go,  Rusty and his family were my saving grace… seriously, I can’t even begin to say how much I love and appreciate them. ) Rusty had a rough life and did have run ins with the law, served jail time and battled drug problems.  He loved his motorcycle..   Unfortunately he was in an accident several years ago that resulted in the loss of one of his legs.  Through the rough exterior and everything he had been through in his life the man had a heart of gold and fought his demons to the very end.   Shortly after getting out of prison he moved back in with his mother and committed his time to fixing up his motorcycle and reconnecting with old friends.   One day he told his mother he wasn’t feeling well and was going to go take a nap.   He never woke up.   I never wanted to know details,  but from what I heard from others that he had some preexisting  health issues that caused his heart to stop.  Living hard finally had caught up with him.    His death hit those that loved him the hardest…  I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to know him and that he considered me family.    If I had listened to X and his ridiculous stories I may never have.

X is no doubt still telling outrageous stories to this day to anybody who will listen  in desperate attempts for attention.   Stories about how he’s a direct descendant from King Charlemagne and how his father’s job at TRW involved alien communication (I’m not making this up)    Being around him all those years ago taught me to be real with people.   If they don’t like you for who you are,  then making up a story isn’t going to make any difference at all.   In fact,  chances are if you do that then people will most likely laugh behind your back instead.   Which is worse?

rusty
RIP Rusty…  ❤