"But Mum nothing, you are going to go and that's that."
Drew sagged in defeat. He might have agreed to the Weinkönigin stuff but it didn't mean he had to like it either. Of course he knew this was coming up and he knew he had little chance of dissuading his parents on this but he had to at least have a go didn't he?
"And young man you will not show anyone up, you knew what the stakes were when you agreed to this. Now go and get ready, I want to see the Weinkönigin come downstairs right?"
"Okay" he sighed.
There was no point in pushing things - that could only end badly - for him in particular.
An hour later he clumped down the stairs.
"Um, could someone give me a hand please?"
"Wos up Gabs?" The Goth One enquired.
"Can you help me with this flippin' dress, I can't get it to stay up properly."
"Lets have a shufti then." she got up and came round behind me, "nice frock by the way."
"Whatever, anyway how come you don't have to go tonight?"
"I'm grounded remember."
"Oh yeah." How could I forget!
There was some tugging and grunting from my sister as I was man, well girl handled into the stupid dress I've got wear.
"Think I'd a worn a bra." Jules noted.
"Tried that but it was really uncomfortable."
"Hmm, I think I can lace it up a bit tighter which should help."
"Thanks I think." I managed as she tightened the bodice about my chest.
"There we go that's better, it should be okay as long as you don't start cheerleading."
"I'll try to member that." I replied sarcastically.
"I suppose you want your hair doing?"
"I guess, it's supposed to be up so the crown thing stays on."
Jules chortled to herself.
"You, crown thing indeed!"
Ten minutes of fussing and his hair was piled on the crown of his head and apart from some final touch up to his makeup he was ready.
“If its any consolation you look really cu - er – sophisticated.”
“You were going to say cute.”
“Well that an' all, the look suits you.”
I checked my reflection in the kitchen doors glass panel, staring back was Maddy! Well Maddy if she happened to be wearing a strapless floor length ball gown, strappy sandals and his Mum's crystal necklace, the one on a fine gold herringbone chain. Problem was it wasn't Mad, it was me looking back.
“Lets have a look then kiddo” Mum's voice broke in.
I turned about to face my parents.
“Well you won't be short of partners tonight.” Dad mentioned.
“Thanks I don't think.”
“That dress really suits you Gab, there's something missing though – that's it, where are your Gran's earrings?”
“Sugar! On my dresser.”
“I'll get them.” Jules volunteered.
Mum herself was dressed to the nines although annoyingly she was showing less décolletage than me! Dad looked pretty smart too in his best suit.
“Here we go Gabs.” Jules handed me the earrings.
“If you're coming Jules you have fifteen minutes – you're dress is on my bed.” Mum offered.
“Thanks Mum!” she hugged both of our parents before launching herself back upstairs.
“I thought she was grounded?”
“She is but New Year is not a time for anyone to be alone so there is a one night lifting of hostilities!” Dad advised.
I fitted my earrings and perched on the arm of the sofa.
“Let me just touch up your makeup Gab.” Mum offered.
The New Year Ball is, so the girls tell me, THE social event of the year and as Dernau Weinkönigin I got the dubious pleasure of acting as hostess. Dad had organized a minibus – there was no way we'd get in either of our cars with these frocks on – I did mention they were the full nine yards, gloves the lot? I have to say that Jules looked pretty good all gussied up, the red velvet suits her but I'm not sure I like the sort of iridescent greeny blue of mine.
So anyway we got to the Rathaus for the start of my evenings torment and after a quick photo session my duties as hostess kept me from doing much other than shaking hands with various local luminaries. My two maids of honour , Connie and Analise were having an easier time of things – well at least they weren't getting their chests ogled by half the town!
The meal was at least uneventful even if I couldn't really enjoy the pork knuckle dressed like this. At least I managed to score an extra scoop of ice cream – the joys of royalty! The remainder of the evening was thrown over to the Ball proper – that is a semi formal dance and guess who got his toes trod on by the Mayor, Police Chief and Dad? Still everyone except my feet seemed to have a good time although I was more than glad when eleven o'clock came round and the last dance was called. (I've since found out that we raised nearly €6000 on the night.)
“Are you two changing?” Mum enquired while we waited for the taxi bus to take us on to the main event of the evening as far as I'm concerned – Pia's Neu Jahr Spiel at the restaurant!
“Have we got time?”
“Just if you're quick.” Dad supplied – neither he nor Mum would need to.
“Okay then.” I couldn't wait to get out of the wretched ball gown.
I managed a sort of Grand Prix change of clothing, shedding the voluminous frock for a more practical layered slip dress and my red cardi. There was no time for hair or makeup so they just got a quick touch up on the short drive up to Pia's.
The party was in full swing when we got there – looking around it seems that this is the second best place to be tonight!
“Hey Gabs, I thought you'd come in your gown.” Pia greeted me
“This is more comfortable.” But still not my first choice!
“Come on, we've got a disco in the tasting room, the others are already here.”
“Mum? I'm going to the disco.”
“Behave yourself and don't drink too much!”
“As if! You coming Jules?”
By the time we'd got some liquid refreshment and found the others in the crowded cellar it was almost midnight and the DJ started the traditional wind up. Buckets of those party popper things went round and on the stroke of midnight there was a right ole din as everyone set them off to welcome 2004. Of course there was the usual smooching session and drinking to welcome the New Year – that hasn't changed even if we are in Germany! At home or when we've been to Gran's this has signaled the end or at least the winding down of the festivities. Not this year though, the DJ was soon picking things up again and after everyone had put each other down the serious partying started.
Lets just say that it was well late or maybe I should say early when we left the warm confines of the restaurant for the damn cold exterior to go home. It had even managed to snow a little at some point after we arrived which leant the whole scene a weird aura. Our cab was waiting so we didn't freeze to death although the taxi wasn't exactly a warm haven either.
Back home and we all just about managed to get to our beds before exhaustion set in, I did notice my mobile was flashing for a message but I was too knackered to look. I climbed under the covers having only removed my dress, cardi and shoes and was soon welcoming the New Year with z's.
Maddy Bell 23.05.08 © 2008
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