Military Spouses’ Dining In – What is it, and How do I Prepare?
Cue music * Now Iiii…had the time of my life* — I had the time of my life a few nights ago, that is (and hopefully, “Time of My Life” is now stuck in your head as it is in mine). Where was this fun had, you might ask?
No, the good time wasn’t had at a sleepy resort in the Catskills and didn’t involve me being put in a corner. I’m referencing Offutt Air Force Base’s first annual Military Spouse’s Dining In, dubbed “Night at the Offys.” *Scroll down to play the video of our dance performance (the 55th Wing Chaplain Spouses).*
A “dining in” event is basically a huge dinner party, where each squadron (milspouses) chooses a movie and decorates their table based upon their selected movie theme. We all then dressed as characters from the movie.
Our movie of choice (obviously) was Oceans 8. I was 9 Ball (played by Rihanna in the movie).
The planning team went above and beyond for this one and gave us a most impressive rendition of the cast of Hunger Games.
There were some AMAZING tables, guys – Ghostbusters, Grease, SWOT, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter (wait until I post this photo of Voldemort, who also happens to be a friend), Snow White, CONEHEADS, The Great Gasby, the Navy spouses did Top Gun, and so on. It really demonstrated just how resourceful military spouses are. I’ll include some photos of the tables at the end of this post.
Here’s your opportunity to go all out. Basically, follow your imagination wherever it takes you (to the extent reality allows for). Our movie was Oceans 8, with a focus on the heist at the Met Gala. So our table was full of jewelry, diamond and martini glasses and we emulated the ladies’ costumes the best we could.
The Army table went with Forest Gump. They went with various items recognizable from the movie and dressed as Forest at various stages. There was also a Lieutenant Dan, complete with wheel chair.
Another table – Grease – dressed as the Pink Ladies. Their table was old-fashioned Coca Cola, checkered table cloths and juke boxes.
The Coneheads wore…well cones on their heads and so on and so forth.
Everyone made a contribution to the grog. More on that directly below.
The grog is much like the grog offered at some active duty events. Start with an alcoholic base (there was also a non-alcoholic version for ladies like myself) and then add the nastiest food items you can think of. In keeping with our theme, we upturned martini glasses full of seltzer water and olives (because, chaplains wives). A table repressing the movie “Bad Moms” added hot dogs, hot dog water, spaghettios and Cheerios. You get the picture. Grossness.
Rules vary and are generally silly and meant to advance the fun. Failure to abide by the rules means you get to drink from the grog.
Dinner was catered, by Hyvee in our case. It was followed by various awards – best table decorations (Snow White won ours), best costume, most spirit, etc.
We didn’t have a lot of people participate in this part, sadly. The head table did a dance, we presented our skit/dance (see below) and someone from the Wizard of Oz table sang a solo. Hopefully, more groups will participate next year, now that they know what to expect.
I was surprised more male spouses weren’t in attendance, but my hubby crashed the party to capture video of our skit (which he later posted to the chapel page) and to take this dashing couple’s photo.
Also, SO many compliments on this dress from Amazon! $13 bucks. Stole – also an amazon find AND it’s the same one I wore with my wedding dress. I look fancy, but I’m not. #thatsmystoryandimsticking with it.
Anyway, phenomenal group of women. We worked together as a team to pull our table decorations and Oceans 8 skit/dance number off. It’s funny how, even though I’m now miles away from MS and NE, AND A CHAPLAIN’S WIFE my dance and choreo skills still come in handy. Footage of our skit is below. The video is also available on the Offutt AFB Chapel Facebook page.
I will miss these ladies dearly. But, with the way of the military, and the small size of the Chaplain’s Corp., I’m sure we’ll see each other again!