Halftime Leisure

A Guide to Navigating Your Exes and Their Families at Senior Ball

May 17, 2019

The Last Chance Dance came and went; students now eagerly await the actual last chance dance: Senior Ball. It’s the District’s messiest event of the year, as emotional train wrecks in suits and gowns replace actual trains in Union Station for one night and one night only.

This year’s event will be held at the luxurious transportation hub on the opposite side of the city from Georgetown University. Some 6,000 graduates and their families are expected to attend on May 17.

This year, tickets cost $130, the price of a small flock of pet ducks. If the exorbitant price of attendance isn’t challenging enough, the event also features a suggested formal dress code. I recommend adding another hurdle to attendance and will personally be dressing as a Met Gala wannabe. The theme is “Camp: Jesuit Private School Edition.”

Proposed outfits include large seventeenth-century tapestries worn as dresses, your private high school’s uniform after you’ve “dressed it up,” or regal robes that, when choreographed, can be elaborately removed to reveal vintage corsets. I recommend staging your entire family in a tableau vivant, which will prove to them that your art history minor really was a good idea.

At its core, the event is the best and only opportunity to be in the same room with every person you hooked up with in college, along with their parents, siblings, and in some lucky cases, grandparents. That guy you thought you were in a serious relationship with but who never introduced you to his parents? Now is your chance to meet his entire extended family.

The annual event is infamous for its open bar, allowing for more cheap thrills. Take a shot every time your friend’s dad compliments your “outfit.”

This event, truly, is a call to arms. Just how extra can you be? Just how many vodka sodas can you drink to drown your emotions and sense of smell? Just how many rats can you count?

And since this is Georgetown, some of the world’s most eligible aristocratic bachelors will be in attendance. I advise ticket holders to begin studying princely candidates now. Memorize family trees and be on the lookout for secret service, which will be a dead giveaway and lead you directly to the most desirable of suitors. Good thing Georgetown made you learn a second language proficiently. And good thing you took Maps. Wow, this ball lets you exercise only the best of your academic accomplishments.

To make this about me, I will personally be celebrating an emotional double whammy, graduation and turning 22 at midnight. I’m wearing an entirely sequined ball gown eight times larger than myself so you won’t miss me as I wail under a table (although I have been told I have the voice of an angel, and this is all assuming my dress fits through the arched entrance to Union Station). I’ll probably catch the next train to Wichita on a whim when the feeling that I have nothing to lose sinks in around 2 a.m. Thank God this thing is being held at a train station. It makes running away so much easier.

Emma Francois
is the highest-pitched voice on the fashion + sex podcast, Stripped.

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