As I fidgeted with my white gloves, I thought over and over again about remembering to smile while walking to the stage and how to stand during the presentation. On this night in Baton Rouge, Krewe Mystique would present me as one of the 2017 debutantes for the krewe. In the months leading up to this night, I attended lavish parties, important meetings, and long practices to prepare for what this experience would bring. While waiting in line with my dad, I thought on how each step of my long journey got me to this important point. One of these important steps was my announcement party in front of krewe members and my family.
My announcement party reflected very vividly in my mind at the time. My great-aunt prepared her house for the event and invited numerous guests to witness my announcement. I remembered the trumpets sounding when the lieutenants entered to formally present me my crisp white gloves, my gold krewe necklace, and my krewe chalice. All of these things had formally announced me to my family and important members of the krewe. I remembered how the party continued on with chatting, the cutting of the cake, and endless pictures. I remembered the constant questions from “Are you excited?” to “Is that crown heavy?” from the many party guests. The party represented a huge step on my road to the ball where I would be presented into society.
When the announcer began our names starting with the first debutante Juliet, I could feel my heart pounding and the butterflies racing in my stomach. My dad continuously reassured me, but I could not stop the fidgeting with my gloves, my dress, or my hair. The crucial instructions from the countless practices played throughout my mind like a movie. I made sure to remind myself that I had prepared for this big moment for months now. Watching each debutante walk with her dad, I began to anticipate what the walk to the stage with my own dad would feel like. Thinking about my presentation walk began to make me think of the first time I was able to walk around in my dress with full hair and makeup for formal pictures.
I spent hours at the salon while the hairdresser did my hair into an updo with perfect positioning for the crown and the makeup artist did my makeup to compliment my dress. When I arrived for the pictures, Kris, the royalty chair, and the photographer greeted me and showed me to the dressing room for the debutantes. With the help of my mom, I put on my dress, crown, and shoes. The realization soon hit me: this was the first time I put on my white ball gown in full hair and makeup. The dress along with the shoes came with its own challenges, and I remember questioning if I could actually walk in these shoes for the ball. These pictures brought me closer to my big night when all would see the hard work come together.
As I waited at the end of the aisle as the final debutante to walk, my heart jumped for joy. Kris finally gave me and my dad the cue to begin my walk with one hand holding my bouquet flowers and the other in my dad’s hand. The ball guests including my many family members cheered as I heard the announcer calling out my name and biography. Smiling began to come naturally as I neared the stage where the other debutantes waited. With each step I took, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. The cameras flashed as I reached the end and stood out on stage to look at the whole ballroom. Now, I was finally a formal member of society, and the krewe formally introduced me to all its members. All my preparations culminated on this one memorable night and with them brought a sense of maturity.