Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I went to Mardi Gras once, long ago at the end of high school. Drove down to New Orleans from Kansas City with my at-the-time boyfriend. We were young, stupid and blinded by drugs, as well as depressed by that long drive south through Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana en route. During the 1960's, the south was a truly frightening place, a sad landscape.
What I remember about Mardi Gras is vague. It was loud, as I remember. Colorful and crowded. The more drugs I did and the more I drank, the less I liked the scene. Finally after a big argument, my boyfriend and I got back in the car and drove home. Pfffft.
Fast forward twenty years to when I went to Carnival in Trinidad with my at-the-time husband. Now THAT was a blast. Colorful, crowded and LOUD beyond belief, Carnival in Port of Spain was so much fun. I was not doing any drugs, sipping rum drinks, yes, but not overindulging. That helped a lot. I love steel drum music and calypso music, so that helped me enjoy myself, too. We bought coconuts and roti from street vendors, walked for miles, attended the calypso monarch contest, and danced our asses off, just like everyone around us. It took me a week to catch up on sleep, but was well worth it. I cherish that memory.
Mardi Gras is never a big deal in Washington DC, especially this year. That's OK by me. Still, I wish anyone who celebrates a rowdy Mardi Gras. Put on your costumes, let your neck hang heavy with beads, eat a po' boy or two, oh yeah!! Cheers!