Mardi Gras Wrap-up
Saying goodbye to the perfect season
I’m in that weird generational cohort that’s neither Gen X nor millennial. We’ve been called the Oregon Trail Generation (from the video game I played obsessively in middle school and coined by a Loyola New Orleans alumna), Generation Catalano (from the dreamy Jordan Catalano on "My So-Called Life," which was EVERYTHING when I was a high school freshman), and Xennials, a mashup of “Gen X” and “millennial.”
I do love a good portmanteau, so I guess I lean toward the last term, but in any case, my generational makeup means that I never check my voicemail, prefer texts, remember a time before the internet, and can handle GIFs with some degree of savvy – but it also means that I’m old enough that when my beloved 23-year-old coworker, Edward, hugged me and said, “Oh, Eve, ILY a milly,” I had no idea what he was talking about.
“ILY,” he patiently explained, stood for “I Love You,” and “milly” was short for “times a million.”
It was also through Edward that I learned what FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – was.
I know what it is, but I don’t often have it.
Live music is OK. Parties are fine, I guess. Movies are cool, sure. I like doing stuff.
But what I really fear missing out on is time at home in comfy pants and no bra watching true crime shows or reading.
There really is not much I’d rather do in my leisure time than that, so I don’t usually feel like there’s anything to miss out on.
Except during Carnival season.
Maybe it’s that deep-down, I always worry that this could be our last-ever Mardi Gras before we’re leveled by a hurricane or soaked in oil or we just … sink. Maybe it’s that I know that even if I have to force myself to go and curse the traffic the whole way, I’ve never not had a blast once I’ve actually made it to the route. Maybe it’s because Ruby loves it so much that I feel like I’m letting her down.
In any case, the FOMO was strong this year.
Not strong enough to make me stand in Nyx in the rain, and not even strong enough to propel Georgia and me to Muses (Ruby went with her dad, in from St. Louis for the holiday).
Georgia and I both wanted to go, but we both also didn’t want to go, and when she whispered in my ear that she’d really prefer to stay home and read her new Fancy Nancy books, I’ve never felt closer to another human.
Friday, the weather was dicey, and ditto Saturday, when Georgia and I watched Netflix in our pajamas and ate pizza.
But Sunday, dammit, we were going to parade.
And we did, and it was … I’m not being gratuitous or hyperbolic here when I say that it was magical.
Yes, it rained, and yes, Georgia got hit in the head almost immediately with a huge bag of beads, but we laughed and danced and waved our hands and made friends who shared their umbrellas and I screamed myself absolutely hoarse with joy when the marching band for my high school went by.
Georgia and I were home before Bacchus, exhausted and happy. Ruby met up with her dad along the route and didn’t get home until after 10.
Monday, we all took a rest, and Tuesday, we did a very low-key morning of Rex and a few truck floats, all of which are walking distance from our house, while Ruby hit the Quarter in costume.
For me, the highlight was the bands. For Ruby, the highlight was the 13 glass beads she snagged. For Georgia, the highlight was running into her school librarian. (Introverts 4 LIFE!)
But when it was all over, we’d all had just about the perfect amount of Mardi Gras – a giant dose for Ruby, a smaller bit for me, and maybe four parades max for Georgia.
And none of us felt like we missed out on much of anything.
It was a wonderful Carnival season, and although I’m relieved in some ways it’s over, I’m also counting down the days until we – God willing and the River don’t rise – get to do it all over again.
ILY a milly, NOLA. ILY a milly.