Last year the hotel where I teach had a ball for all the employees. I asked my friend who works there what she was going to wear.

“You know…. ball clothes. I’m wearing the sequined bustier from my wedding dress and a big foofy black skirt.”   (Ok, I’m not sure she said foofy since I don’t really know that word in the local language. I just put that in there.)

From her comments (with or without foofy), I determined that this would be a fancy-dress ball. I didn’t have a fancy dress. So, I got my hair done up in a foofy updo and wore a really sparkly shirt and a long black skirt. Then, we showed up and almost everyone was in blue jeans. Even my friend was wearing decidedly un-foofy black pants and a black only slightly-sparkly shirt. I felt stupid. In fact, that entire evening rates as the most embarassing night of my life. I got to pick our table to sit at, so I picked the one in the darkest corner of the room and I hid.

Tonight is this year’s ball. I’m not going to be tricked again. I’m wearing black pants and a purple/hot pink shirt that Britty picked out for me. If we were Stateside, I’d wear some subdued jewelry so that it wouldn’t clash or be too flashy.

But we aren’t Stateside.

Side note about style in Central Asia: When I have a wedding or other place to go, I think to myself: “How would I have done my hair in middle school?” Now, I attended middle school in the early 90’s, so that means a lot of hair clips and big bangs. Then, I accessorize in a similar style: big beaded jewelry, big earrings, and lots of bracelets. Sparkle and shine = elegance. (Even if the sparkle & shine were purchased from a cheap jewelry store.) In fact, to dress for sucess, you only have to choose a character from Saved by the Bell to imitate. Who will I aim to look like tonight?

kelli.jpg Should I pick Kelly? Everyone likes her and thinks she’s a wholesome girl, even though her skirts are always a bit too short. Nice bangs, though.

lisa2.jpg What about Lisa? She’s got the big earrings and big bangs down right. But, in this particular picture, she really needs to pluck that unibrow. And, if I choose Lisa, does that mean that the hub is Screech?

jessie.jpg Then there’s Jessie. Smart, sassy, and ended up making less than family-friendly films after SBTB was over. Maybe not the best choice….

I’m stuck. I can’t figure it out. I guess I’ll just wear all the beaded jewelry I own, make my hair foofy, and paint my fingernails hot pink to match my shirt. My prediction: I’ll show up like that and everyone else will be wearing foofy skirts or sequined dresses. Well, if they do, I’ll just re-enact Jessie’s breakdown and leave.


Hmmm…. nice bow she’s wearing there. I wonder if I can find one of those for tonight….