New Orleans was amazing. My friends John and Randy were fantastic hosts, and they knew some of the best places to watch the parades. I discovered that I catch beads like someone who was traumatized by them as a child with a lot of flinching and looking away at the last minute. I got hit in the head more than once as a result of some long strands of beads and my overall poor form.
We dropped in on a lot of their friends, and everyone was incredibly generous with their food, booze, and conversation. I can get a little nervous in situations where I don’t know a lot of people. I tend to hang back and try to get a feel for the situation instead of jumping in with both feet. But when we visited a man named Tony, he insisted that I get something to drink. “Eat something,” he said when he noticed I didn’t have a plate. And since the potato salad looked amazing and there was king cake, that was a pretty easy order to obey. I was constantly overwhelmed by everyone’s hospitality.
Sunday night, John, Randy, and I were going to a party, and then they were going to leave to go to the Bacchus ball. So, they were in nice suits, whereas I was dressed to go to a street parade outside their friend Lisa’s building. In the lobby, Randy got a call, and when he hung up, he waved at me, indicating my jeans and Converse sneakers, and asked, “Can you turn that into formal wear in 20 minutes?” They’d gotten an extra ticket to the ball.