Mardi Gras is known for a few things: Nudity, binge drinking, beads, parades, peeing in the street, and general public debauchery. For the most part, none of those things are fitting with my personality. But, being that it’s celebrated in New Orleans, which is only a car ride away from Atlanta, it felt like one of those things you might as well experience once. So, in the nature of a fun new adventure, I went to give it a try.
Here’s a rundown of a few things I learned from mardi gras:
1. Even in March, New Orleans is just as humid as the summer which means I had to quickly learn to deal with frizzy hair.
2. Just about everyone is too drunk to notice the effects of #1 on my hair.
3. Even a tornado watch won’t stop revelers from trying to catch plastic beads and other paraphernalia from people on the floats.
4. I had to become comfortable with the concept that throwing trash on the ground is not only acceptable, but expected.
5. The saying, “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” means nothing during this celebration. Drinking seems to begin early and go to the same time the next morning when some are just wrapping up the night.
6. Regardless of cold weather, rain, and trash/vomit/and pee-lined streets, short/tight dresses and stripper heels are completely socially acceptable.
7. Locals learn to build their partying stamina from year-to-year in order to party from Thursday til Tuesday. I was there for two nights and am absolutely exhausted.
8. If you want beads, there is no need to show your ‘goodies’. They’re free and easy to come by. So, to you ladies (and few gents) who feel otherwise and walk down Bourbon street with your shirt above or below your boobs for the world to see, you should probably reconsider your tactics.
9. Cabs are not your friend. Metered rates go out the window in favor of made up ones.
10. 5 hour energy is great to help you stay up, but also may result in not being able to fall asleep. Which, in turn, leads to a tough time staying up late the following nights.
11. Do yourself a favor and do not wear open-toed shoes.
As you may have deduced, I think I’m a bit too responsible and buttoned-up to enjoy the festivities to their fullest. But, it was fun and was definitely worth trying! Now it’s time to catch up on some sleep and prepare for St. Patrick’s day!