The Pros and Cons of a Military Ball
It’s ball season, and everyone is getting excited! You, however, are not sure you want to go. Will you have fun? Will it be a waste of money?
The truth is, a military ball can be a lot of fun. There are reasons to go and there are also reasons to stay home.
As for myself? We have been to half of the balls we could have gone to. The other ones? We decided to stay home.
So here you go…if you are trying to decide if you do want to go, think about the pros and cons and decide for yourself.
Pros of going to a military ball
You get to dress up
Dressing up in a ball gown is fun. It might be the only time you get to do so in your adult life. Find a beautiful dress, get your hair done, and have fun being a bit fancier than you normally are.
There are all types of traditions at a military ball. From the way you have to greet people, to the toasts, to the grog. There will also be a place set for those who the unit has lost. These traditions have been around for a long time, and as a military spouse, it is nice to be able to see them at least once during your spouse’s career.
Have fun with friends
A military ball can be a fun night to hang out with friends. This assumes that you are in fact friends with the spouses of those in your husband’s brigade or unit. This isn’t always the case, but if you know another spouse who will be going, you can make some memories together at the ball.
A ball includes a dinner, and sometimes they can be pretty yummy. If you have young kids, this is a time for you and your spouse to have a night out and a non-kid friendly dinner. Even if that is the only reason you enjoy yourself, going for the dinner can be worth it.
Schweinfurt, Germany 2008
Cons of going to a military ball
After you calculate the cost of getting their uniform ready, buying your dress, paying for the ball tickets, and maybe even a babysitter, you could be looking at paying over $200 or even $300 for the night. Not everyone has this in their budget, and the money can be better spent elsewhere. Think about how much extra money you have and if you think it would be worth spending that money for the ball.
You don’t know anyone
If you don’t know any of the other spouses, going to a ball can be awkward. Also, you might have to sit in a certain place, so even if your friends are there, you won’t be able to hang out with them during most of the night. If your service member is close with the people at your table and you are not, it can make for an awkward evening.
Too tired to make it to the dancing part
Every ball we have ever been to has had dancing, but that usually didn’t start until a couple of hours in. So we would either have to leave earlier because of the babysitter or we were simply too tired to dance by then. When you hear the word ball, you think dancing, but that isn’t always possible.
You have to find a babysitter
In a perfect world, you can find a babysitter who can stay with your kids all night long. That way you two can get a hotel and truly enjoy the night. The problem is, sometimes it is difficult to find a sitter, especially if you are new to your duty station. It also is an extra expense, so for some military families, a military ball isn’t something they can go to.
If you don’t go to your next ball, they will probably be another one in the future you can attend. Balls can be a lot of fun, but they are not for everyone.
Do you like going to balls? Or do you tend to skip them?