We have entered the Mardi Gras season here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and if you’ve been hanging around here for awhile, you know what that means: Photo Friday will be turning into Mardi Gras central! For the next few weeks (probably a good 4-6 weeks), I’m going to be bringing you images from all sorts of Mardi Gras festivities for Photo Friday.
As always, Sweet Husband is my companion on these photo expeditions. As long there’s a cooler full of tasty beverages within reach, he’s more than happy to be my blocker and run interference for me – allowing me to get into position to take photos and making sure that people don’t get too close to me…which will be an important factor later in this post. It’s always important to remember that while parades are designed to be a good time for young and old alike, occasionally when you put folks together with alcohol, the results are predictable.
But really, parades are all about making fast friends with total strangers, marveling at floats and costumes, and attempting to cajole the riders or marchers into giving you their best trinkets. Except these days, all I’m really interested in is shooting. SH catches the beads, and unless they are something spectacular, he drops them around the neck of a child in front of us or into their bag.
Here on the Coast, the Old Biloxi Marching Club is a parade tradition. The ladies carry the banner and are attractive, while the men have towers of flowers and will hand one over to the ladies along the route for the price of a kiss on the cheek. If one comes your direction, you pucker up and lightly touch their sweaty cheek with your lips as they hand you a flower. To cap everything off, you blow them a kiss as they move on to the next recipient.
I don’t know if it’s the coarsening of society or as we say down here in the South, a lack of proper home-training, but even at events that are supposed to be bastions of fun, you have to be prepared for unpleasantness. It’s disheartening. At least year’s Pass parade, there was murder. At this year’s Ocean Springs parade, there was a stabbing. While we were far from this year’s incident, there was almost an incident in front of us.
Super Dad with the panties around his neck (it’s a thing – trust me. Mesh, $0.40 green, gold, or purple panties are a prize possession) and Face Tattoo dude hanging off the float almost got into. Over plastic beads. They were jawing at each other across the street, doing that thing that men do where they touch their chests and do some modified version of jazz hands to signify that they’re ready to roll…but we all know that really? They’re not. They’re just posturing. Eventually Ocean Springs PD stepped in and took FT away and warned his girlfriend that she needed to head on to the house because she was ready to throw down too.
It’s always good to remember that the purpose of these parades is really to have fun. If you didn’t catch those beads you thought were so cool? Eh. Because there will be other beads that are so cool. Or there will be a thrift store stuffed animal that bonks you in the head or lands in your drink cup. It’s certainly not worth it. Because dude, if those cheap beads mean that much to you, I can go to the Mardi Gras store right down the road and get you a case of them for $15.
Perspective. It matters.
Now I have to say, I was slightly disappointed that SH was unable to snag chili pepper beads for me. The Chili Pepper Queens are a chapter of the Sweet Potato Queens (which if you need a HILARIOUS read – check it out. Quick. Funny. Southern. With recipes and cocktail preparation). I’d like to be a Chili Pepper Queen. I need to figure out how to get into that club. However, I wasn’t angry that someone got chili beads and I didn’t. There’s a store just a few blocks away; I can get my own.
Look at those faces! How much fun are they having? Those faces are what I’m looking for when I’m heading out to a parade. There is much to be worried about in this day and age; a couple of hours of precious joy doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
And speaking about things to be worried about, thank you all for the lovely comments last week. Anxiety is still a companion, but it’s been manageable. While recognizing that it is in fact anxiety is helpful, I’m not yet to the point where I can note it and then move on. It is what it is, and I’m looking forward to the moment when it doesn’t have as much of an impact. One step at a time…with photos to document the whole journey.
Photo Friday Link-Up
Welcome to another edition of the Photo Friday link-up! Somehow – a few weeks back – I missed that it was actually the 100th edition of the link-up. This week is 102. That’s all due to y’all. I say this each week, but the beauty of link-ups isn’t that you get a few page views you might not have. The beauty of it is the people you come to know and look forward to visiting with virtually. The community is what makes a link-up worth the time you invest in it. Thank y’all for being a part of our community here at Photo Friday!
Last week we had a 3-way tie for most viewed link – with Stephanie’s review of one year of her blog at In Her Lens, Stephanie of Vaycarious‘s recounting of travel scams she fell for, and Albom Adventure’s tour of Alnwick Castle taking top honors.
Our final link last week came from Sarah at Albom Adventures who took us along with her to a bird park in Brazil. As always, if you missed some of the links that were added later in the weekend, take a moment to go check them out! There were some great posts this week!
I can’t wait to see what you have for us over this coming weekend!