I've decided that there are two sides to every Mardi Gras. The first in the glamorous, extravagant, elaborate, glamorous balls, and spending way too much money on ridiculous items like plastic beads and glow sticks. Then there is the trashy side- yes, that's the side where unfortunate girls flash their goods for crappy 12 inch beads in the middle of the street for God and everyone to see, the side where just the sight of a sign "Show your Dick" will prompt 3 unsuspecting tourists to do as such, and of course the side that prompts photos like this- really what was it that prompted you to think this outfit was a good idea?
So I had the pleasure of experiencing both sides. I met up with my friend Julie from S.C. and she filled my dance card every minute of the day. Friday night we saw 4 parades and by the time it was all over with, it was like 2am. Then upon returning to my hotel room, the guys down the hall are just gearing up for their in-house party. The amazing thing about the lads down the hall from me is that not only do they party until 6am, but then they are up at 9am yelling all sorts of things. I just don't know how they do it, I would have anticipated peace from 6am until at least noon, but that would be a waste of beer drinking time I suppose. So nonetheless, I fell asleep to the building shaking and woke up to the same just a few hours later.
Bead earning- these dirty old men have bead trading down to a science. They barter with you on an individual level, supposedly this is the "gentlemanly" way of doing things- as opposed to just flashing random strangers in the street. So you pick the beads you want, flash 'em, and go on your merry way. It's really very simple. Yes, I earned a couple, but the best of all beads I received from the Bead Ferry who felt that I just had to have them. The problem is that these beads were gifted to me on the first night, and no other beads stood up to the quality of any other beads. I was jaded all weekend. I didn't want any other beads.
And about the beads- for some reason, you leave your comfortable home, with all of your valuables behind and venture to New Orleans to yearn for, chase after, risk loosing an eye for, and sometimes beg for plastic beads on a string. As soon as you step foot into the city limits you are reduced to thinking that the most important thing in the world is obtaining the biggest and most beautiful bead strand. And as soon as you drive away, you think, why did I just spend and exorbitant amount of hours picking up and wearing beads? Regardless you are having fun all the while.
The glamorous side of things goes like this. You pay a lot of money to attend a proper Mardi Gras Ball, Endymion is the one that I attended. It was in the Super Dome, 14 thousand people were there and they bring the Endymion parade right into the Super Dome and it is crazy. This is where I received a black eye. This guy went so crazy throwing beads that I was pelted right in the eye and was sure it would be black and blue by the morning. Julie of course just quips "sometimes you gotta catch 'em with your face." Great. Anyway, everyone was all dressed up in ball gowns and tuxes. The parade was great. The people were loads of fun...and the music was good, although I would not recommend listening to any Kevin Costner music. But the Go Go's and Cowboy Mouth were great. We closed the ball down. Well...us and the totally drunk girl in the red dress who couldn't stand up and obviously shouldn't have been attempting to walk on her own, or even breath on her own.
OK Court and Steph. Next year, the three of us are there. I know all the places to hang out and see. We must arrive on Thursday for the Muses parade, it is the best, it's the all girl parade. We can leave on Monday morning because there really is nothing going on after Sunday night's Bacchus parade. I'll make all of the arrangements, just clear your calendar and get some money together.