Mardis Gras always feels like a happy day today. It’s nostalgia-making for me, too, since I’m rarely in a place where people know much about Mardis Gras. Back when I used to hang decorative flags on my house, nobody in Wyoming understood why I had a crawdad with a purple, green and gold parasol dancing – or the purple glittery wreath on the door. (I don’t put this stuff out at all in Santa Fe because with the adobe-style architecture it just looks wrong, wrong, wrong.)
Everything about Mardis Gras appeals to my magpie heart. It’s shiny. And sparkly. People dress up in crazy outfits and dance and shake all their stuff. I love the licentiousness of the party day. The Carnival, with all the celebrations of the flesh that it implies.
I have memories of parades in New Orleans and balls in Memphis. There’s nothing like drinking from Foster’s Oil Can in a brown paper bag, cheering at luridly lit floats and toying with the idea of flashing your tits to strangers, just this once, though you never do. And going for turtle soup and steamed shrimp and potatoes afterwards, weighed down in beads and trying not to get too much butter in them.
So, though it’s a gorgeous, clear day in Santa Fe, my heart is in New Orleans today.
If you want to be a voyeur, you can watch here: http://www.nola.com/paradecam/