Lynne was studying abroad at a university in Sweden. One of her friends convinced her plus another young woman to be blind dates. His school was hosting a fancy dinner and ball at a castle in Stockholm. The Swedish school was inviting guys from Denmark and Norway for the event, and they needed dates.
The fancy invitation arrived in the mail at Lynne’s dormitory. She would need to wear a gown. It would be an adventure. She was the only American invited.
Lynne wore a lovely white satin and lace evening dress with her warm brown wool coat over it. It was the end of November, and the ground was already covered with snow. She and her girlfriend took the train and subway from their university outside of Stockholm to the castle. They felt overdressed and out of place compared to everyone else.
At the castle, Lynne got paired with Olof, a Norwegian with dark hair and eyes, and her friend got the shorter one. The guys wanted to practice their English, and the women agreed.
As the dinner portion of the evening began, Olof drank with the crepes crevettes (shrimp). Each course was accompanied by another glass of wine, Aquavit ( a dill-flavored alcohol), beer, or other drinks. Many toasts were proposed and completed. He drank with the reindeer steak and pommes Parisiennes served as the main course. More toasts. He drank with gateau glacee (iced cake).
Lynne enjoyed the lovely table and other guests, the expensive wine, and the ambience. She did not love her date’s drinking. She did not love how he began to ogle the other young women in attendance. Her girlfriend’s blind date was no better.
After dinner, Lynne had two dances with her drunken date and then found her friend. She, too, was ready to call it a night and head to their reserved room at an inexpensive hotel. They climbed into their carriage (subway), leaving no glass slippers behind.
Lynne and her friend decided on the way home that balls in castles were better in fiction than in reality.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
If Lynne would’ve stopped to her date’s level and gotten drunk with him, she would’ve discovered that they were really good dancers (or so they thought). She would’ve missed his hand on a turn, almost fallen, and then realized that this was no prince charming and that she didn’t want a military man.