Mardi Gras 2018 has come to a dramatic close, and you can hear the cries of disgust from New Orleans natives across the city. Here are the 7 Stages of Post Parade Grief. After all, we can only overcome this tragedy if we heal together!
As if a week couldn't go by in any faster of a blur, it is suddenly Ash Wednesday and here you are with glitter seemingly permanently glued to your face and empty bottles of the Devil's juice scattered all over your room. There are bruises in places you never thought bruises could be. And the only way to describe your state of being us utter shock. What did I spill on my brother's football jersey from 1999? (Why did I think my brother's football jersey from 1999 would be a sexy outfit choice...?) What did I step in with my white dance team marching boots? What is that smell coming form the weeks collection of beer and rain soaked catches? We don't ask questions we don't want to know the answers to! Sunday Scaries? Yeah right, Wednesday has you beat.
Of course you didn't walk into a random fraternity's private tailgate and stuff 6 Costco brand beer cans into your pants! There is no way in Hell you would have been caught dead ordering three 4 for 4 meals from Wednesday's while shot-gunning a Mic Ultra in the backseat of your dad's car on a Thursday night!! And never would you ever dream of plugging and chugging two Hand Grenades at 3:00 in the afternoon!!! Mardi Gras laws run parallel to those of Las Vegas... What happened at Mardi Gras, never happened.
Bar fights gave absolutely nothing on drunken fights with Uptown parade goers. Imagine you have been standing outside on Magazine St. in the pouring rain and freezing cold for 4 hours, and suddenly a couple of Mid City "natives" decide to set up shop directly in front of you to light up some cigarettes and catch Nyx. Perhaps on any other week, in any other city, you'd take a step away. Maybe find another spot to stand. But during Mardi Gras in NOLA, there is no holding back. You unleash all of your inner demons on these inconsiderate drunks and then proudly reclaim your spot as fellow parade watchers cheer you on for keeping the "riff raft" out of the way.
4. Physical Distress
One of the most New Orleans, and subsequently self-deprecating, mantras to live by is: The best way to cure a hangover is to keep drinking! Refer to my earlier post about the art of "rallying" to get a better idea of this concept. This is a fool proof way to ensure that you can continue to have a drunken night, despite your liver literally begging for mercy. However, Ash Wednesday brings our "Pour Me Something Mister" rhetoric to a screeching halt as we sit in church and try to come to terms with every sin we've committed over the weekend. The week-long Mardi Gras drinking celebration will hit you with the deepest physical distress you've ever experienced: the week-long hangover.
After sitting in the pew of a church you may or may not have been in since Christmas of 2005, you begin to come to terms with all of the week's deniable actions. We look into the priest's eyes as he draws a cross on our forehead and think, "Father, if ONLY you knew." And we are flooded with the guilt of our past. Maybe under that family's snack table along the parade route wasn't the best place to throw up your King Cake daiquiri. Perhaps peeing in the bushes of the Audubon Zoo was bit disrespectful to yourself and anyone you've ever known. This is arguably the worst stage of Post Parade Grief. Where's the fun in actually remembering your Mardi Gras nights out?
And so we are thrown into the whirlwinds of a deep depression. The next Tuesday really is just a Tuesday. School and work alarm clocks ring louder than they ever have before. And your head is still pounding from your week-long hangover. You pack up your mantle decorations and take down the flags from outside. All of this year's beads make their way into the garage and the Randazzo's King cake is scavenged for every last sprinkle. Your social media feeds retreat to their usual food videos and political rants and it's almost as if this past week of Nirvana never even happened. You begin to think, "How can people even live in a world where Mardi Gras doesn't exist 24/7!?"
But quickly we bounce back from this slump. After all, the city must go on, right? You can't begin to plan for next year's Samedi Gras outfits if you don't absolve yourself of this year's fashion crimes. You can't stock up on more bottles of Taaka King Cake Vodka if you don't finish this one's you have now. And suddenly you begin to make hard bargains with your inner self. These embarrassing stories turn into some of the most memorable anecdotes you just can't wait to share with anyone who will listen. You can finally take a look at your heinous Instagram posts or tragic Snapchat stories and chalk it all up to experience. There is no party like a Mardi party, and it only improves with age as NOLA embraces it's 300th anniversary. There is a reason why New Orleans has been named the top travel destination of 2018. So, don't pack up those wigs and glitter too far away... the countdown to Mardi Gras 2019 begins now!!
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