Since I was a young girl I've heard of the fun and fantastical experience of Mardi Gras. I imagined it to be a mix between Spring Break and Cinco de Mayo. Lots of boobs and lots of booze. I remember my big sister once saying, "I better not ever see you on video flashing people for beads!" I couldn't have been older than eleven. I've never had any particular yearning to be part of the festivities (I think stripping for the last three years has quenched any drop of curiosity), but as I write this I find myself sitting in a quaint New Orleans internet cafe.
It just so happens that my friend Lita is currently living in NOLA during a stint working for Americorps. The perfect opportunity to earn Mardi Gras beads. Just kidding, IDGAF about beads. But I am interested in the general New Orleans experience, and what better time to indulge than Fat Tuesday! A few days after this past Christmas I sent my girl a text: "Are you serious about Mardi Gras? I'm going to book a flight." She said yes. Flight booked. Nevermind that it was nearly January and my December rent wasn't paid. $238 later (a great price, everyone tells me) I have a secured seat on a United Airlines flight to the dirty south.
I arrived around 11am on Wednesday and the first thing I did was take a nap--preparation before partying. I woke up to greet Lita when she got home from work. A couple shots of E&J, a few makeup touch-ups, and we were out the door. That night I experienced my first Mardi Gras parade. It was surprisingly tame with many families and kids of all ages posted along the sidewalks of the city. Booze but no boobs. And the people on the floats were throwing beads for nothing in exchange! I'm confident that the parades will get crazier and our nights will get longer as Fat Tuesday approaches. Also, I still haven't been to the infamous Bourbon Street.
I came here open to any possibility so I'm going with the flow. The only goal I have is to dance at a gentleman's club in the French Quarter and triple the amount of money I came with. In the mean time I'm enjoying seeing the historical city and meeting Lita's friends. I haven't been partying much in Philly so now's my time to let loose. I almost didn't come due to an unexpected financial burden but I realized: life is too short not to live to the fullest. Besides, money's not real. And I always have my boobs as currency. 😉