I’m going to New Orleans this weekend for Mardi Gras. There’s a certain embarrassment that I feel about saying that, like maybe that’s a ritual I’m too old for. As if I said I was going to spend my 31st birthday on Spring Break. So, I hasten to add that I will be going to stay with friends, check out some parades, and see the city. I’ve never been to New Orleans before, and I’m not planning to spend my first visit (or any subsequent ones) showing my breasts to strangers and trying not to get thrown up on amidst a crushing throng of drunk people.
I don’t do well with crowds, especially drunk crowds. Outside of my brother and my kindergarten arch nemesis, I’ve only hit one other person, and it was at a concert in one of the smaller bars on Dixon Street. Everyone was crammed together and a guy tried to get closer to the stage by more or less crawling over me. Seems he was just desperate to give the lead singer a hat. See, that struck me as kind of stupid, but I would have overlooked it, but for the crawling over me. I was also taking kickboxing classes that summer, which made me more aggressive. I backfisted him in the face. Just a little bit. Practically a love tap right below the eye. But it was enough to convince him to find another path to the stage. So, as the date approaches, I’m getting a little nervous about picking this particular weekend to make my first trip to the Big Easy.
I’m staying with my friends John and Randy, though, both of whom are tons of fun. Randy and I once played an intensely competitive game of Taboo against a guy our age and two children under the age of 13. If memory serves, we were on fire with one of saying “Edie Sedgwick” and the other responding with “Andy Warhol.” We creamed those kids. The guys assured me that they do a more laid back version of Mardi Gras, so I’m going to head down and see for myself.