It’s the most inebriated time of the year
I’m Just Sayin’
by SHEILA SMITH
Driving to work, I was not surprised to hear “La Chanson de Mardi Gras” (one of the many recorded versions) on the radio. We have about five weeks left until Fat Tuesday but just as radio stations started playing Christmas music Nov. 1, I guess the deejays needed a head start on the next holiday season, as well.
My feelings about Mardi Gras probably rival that of an atheist trudging through the Christmas season. The holiday has nothing to do with me and everything connected to it annoys me.
I will probably be tied up and dragged behind a horse in some Jeff Davis Parish field for saying these things because Southwest Louisiana is die-hard Mardi Gras country, especially in this area. Several people close to me, who celebrate Mardi Gras faithfully, cannot understand my lack of joy over the holiday.
“It’s a time to celebrate your ancestry and your heritage,” they say each and every year.
Well, I don’t know about you, but when I think of the family that has gone before me and the journeys my ancestors made, I usually don’t throw on face paint, rags and beads, down a bottle of whiskey then stumble around singing and beating people with a whip. Trust me, some of my ancestors did that (usually outside of Mardi Gras season) but I’ve chosen to let some traditions die.
Some argue that my opinion regarding Fat Tuesday is unfair.
“It’s not about getting drunk. Not every Mardi Gras event is about getting drunk.”
This is true. I’ve attended the Elton Children’s Mardi Gras Run for the past few years and I can honestly say all the kids there are sober.
I also have trouble understanding the social wars involved with Mardi Gras. You know what I’m talking about. The people who celebrate with balls and beads, gowns and tuxes are considered the evil, rich descendants of French nobility. The people riding and running through mud are considered the humble offspring of Cajuns. (I don’t make the rules. These are opinions that have been shared with me from both sides.)
In an attempt to be fair to the rich and the humble, I mock both.
Now, I realize Mardi Gras is very important to some people, even more important than their firstborn. I think Mardi Gras can be a celebration of culture and family and I know many people who hold the holiday dear due to family traditions.
When I’m dodging a horse with a drunk rider or being pelted with plastic beads while attempting to escape a parade, it’s hard for me to appreciate it, though.
Oh, that’s another thing: the parades. I am not a parade person. Hundreds of people crammed on sidewalks while people in floats launch a variety of plastic items at them is not my idea of a fun, safe time.
It’s especially difficult when I am holding a camera and taking pictures of the parade. People that know me or see the camera decide, “Hey, she doesn’t have a free hand. Let me throw this fist full of plastic beads right at her face.”
Thanks, I appreciate the gesture.
However, I know if I can make it through two straight months of Christmas carols, plays, Salvation Army Santa Clauses, Hallmark holiday movie marathons and gatherings, I am sure I can survive the next five weeks – unless I’m trampled by a horse or choked with green, purple and gold beads.
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