It's crucial, when getting dressed for one's umpteenth black-tie event of the year, to remember that the overall experience of said event is not likely to be very much different from the overall experience of a regular dinner. The food will be better--though it's possible that one's entrée will go missing for awhile--and the wine will be better. But the posturing and the sideways smirks and the bad puns that could only come from the mouths of half-drunk academics will all be pretty much what they always are. And if you're ready for that, then everything will be fine.
And all of this, you will realize, is as it should be, since one of this year's goals was to try and figure out whether there's another life out there that you'd rather be living. And now you know at least one life that, at least as you've experienced it, is certainly no better than your own--and possibly not that much different than your own, just in fancier clothing, with more cleavage showing.
What I wanted for my evening dress: a silken shawl and a crown of flowers. It's possible that I need more shawls and flower-crowns in my daily life.
Tomorrow, I take a bigger step than usual to try and get my head free from the crap that's clogging it. I know better than to think that a change of venue is enough to effect such an unclogging--and yet I'm already signed on for said change of venue and thus will be giving it a try.