Carnival season sort of sneaked up on me this year.

Oh, I wasn’t completely blindsided or anything. My wedding anniversary is on Epiphany (we said life together would always be a carnival, and with three kids and two dogs, we weren’t wrong), so I was aware of the timeline. 

I took down my Christmas tree and ate my ceremonial piece of king cake like a good New Orleanian.

But somehow, I thought we had more time in what I think of as the “Brioche Lull,” where it’s technically Carnival season and you can usually find a king cake in the break room at work but you don’t really have parades to worry about/contend with. 

Then a friend asked me this morning, “So are you going to Chewbacchus this weekend?” (which is not a question anyone would be prepared to answer in any other city) and I briefly thought, “Who what when where why? Parades? Already?”

Well, yes, apparently. The math checks out. We’ve got Chewbacchus and Nefertiti this weekend, followed by Krewe Bohme (which my mom marched in and loved) and Krewe du Vieux next weekend. And then the real chaos starts.

I’m not really ready. I like Mardi Gras as much as the next vaguely festive introvert – it’s fun after a couple of beers but I’d mostly rather be home reading a book – but it’s just so much.

You have to plan your social events around parades. You have to plan your routes to run errands around parades. You have to try to explain to anyone you work with who doesn’t live here why you won’t be getting anything done between Feb. 16 and Feb. 22.

Ultimately, I will make my peace with it. In fact, I’ll even embrace it. I’ll glitter my face and then smear the glitter everywhere when I cry at the first marching band. I’ll have king cake and Bloody Marys for breakfast three days in a row. I’ll forget how much Mardi Gras crap I already have in my attic and go crazy to catch more beads. 

In fact, I’m starting to get excited already. I thought we had more time, but hey, why wait? 

Laissez les bons temps rouler, baby!