I had never been to the Kentucky Derby before. In fact, I think I have only cut through the very westernmost corner of Kentucky on a college spring break road trip and have never been to the state.
My husband is a huge Ashley Judd fan, though. And I do like Neil Diamond's "Kentucy Woman."
But, truthfully, it was the prospect of getting to wear a big, fancy hat (just like Kate and Will's wedding guests!) that excited me when my husband and I received an invitation to our very first Kentucky Derby party.
I researched and shopped for weeks leading up to the event, bookmarking photo after photo of derby attire and visiting every department store within a 50 mile radius of my home from Nordie's to WalMart.
Choosing a dress (hanging already in my closet) was no problem. The hat was a whole different story. They were either too big, too small, too cheap, too expensive, too black, too white, too prude, or too whore-ish.
(I will note here that my husband asked twice what to wear. Twice I offered to buy him a searsucker suit. Twice he asked what searsucker was. Twice I pointed to the stretch marks on my abdomen and said, "Kind of like these." Twice he rolled his eyes and walked away. He wore khakis and a button-up shirt to the party.)
After a month of searching for the perfect hat, this little indecisive Libra made her way to both Hobby Lobby and Michael's where she purchased over $100 worth of silk flowers, spools of ribbons and one colorful bird, $89 of which was promptly returned.
Armed with a glue gun and a bottle of wine, I created what I knew in my gut was nothing close to masterpiece.
One hour before the party I bought a different straw hat, ripped apart the first one and reassembled something just in time to waltz into the party, accent and betting cash in tow.
The fact that my horse came in fourth is not nearly as discouraging as the single running commentary I received about my work of head art, the question asked more often that afternoon than "place or show?"
"Did you make it yourself?"
Why yes. Yes, I did...