Here's how it went:
I called my friend less than a week before the event and asked him if he'd be interested in joining me at the Virginia Inaugural Ball for Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Mark Warner, and 2013 gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
"Yes," he said. "That sounds fine, but it's ball season, so let me call and see if there are any tuxedos still available."
"Fine," I said.
We hung up, and approximately 5 minutes later, he called me back and said, "I was able to find a tuxedo."
"Very good," I said, "I'll buy the tickets, and must get moving on finding a ball gown."
That very day, my friend rented a tuxedo. The following Friday, I rushed to Macy's in downtown D.C. I found a gorgeous gown the moment I walked into the store. It fit - as the saying goes - like a glove. I purchased the gown, while still wearing it (!), and then went downstairs to find a pair of perfect shoes. Since I had to have the dress ready by that Sunday, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get it hemmed in time, so I rushed - in the frigid air - to a tailor shop right across the street from Macy's in my ballgown.
One man said to me, as I dashed across the street, "Girl, you're gonna freeze to death!"
"I'll be fine," I sang, "I'm just going to a tailor shop right across the street!."
I was in luck! The tailor shop had time to hem my gown before the ball. I stood on a block in front of mirrors, and the seamstress, who was a Korean woman, pinned my dress. I picked it up the very next day.
I decided I wanted to go to this ball months ago, so I was able to invest my own money in my dress, shoes, and ticket to the event - it was more than worth it, because this is part of my duty to get to these sorts of events to push the issue and talk about policy solutions that will bring an end to this unnecessary crisis. (I should mention that my friend was kind enough to pay his own way). I realized that this was an event that I couldn't pass up, and while I had fun, attending was all done on behalf of the millions and millions of borrowers who are struggling or unable to pay back their loans.
I had great conversations and was able to discuss my work as an advocate for student loan debtors. This was the goal, and I achieved it.
Again, it was an absolute privilege to have been invited to this event and then attend.
Here are some pictures of when I went to get my dress tailored. Of course, I've also included a few photos that my friend was kind enough to take of me from the evening at the ball. It is with great pleasure that I share these images with all of my readers.
On another note, I returned today from the Hill, and had a fantastic conversation with a staffer about ways in which we need to solve the student lending crisis. Folks, they are listening, and this is going to be the year. This is going to be OUR year to solve the student lending crisis. I am determined, absolutely determined that 2013 will be the year for actual solutions for current borrowers.