I’m glad Mardi Gras came early this year, because it means I can get on with my life.
Yes, that’s dramatic, but after living in New Orleans for a few years, I can’t imagine how you can observe the period between Epiphany and Mardi Gras without intense F.O.M.O. The beads, the parties, the king cake, and the sense of community is overwhelming, in the best way possible.
12:00 PM—Do not succumb to any feelings of sleepiness. Remember that in most places it is just another Tuesday and instantly feel grateful that you are tipsy and covered in glitter.
12:30—Follow your friend's suggestion to swing by a random house in the French Quarter. Arrive to a simmering cast-iron pot of jambalaya, open bags of Zapp's potato chips, and plastic bags full of boiled crawfish, potatoes, and corn.
2:00—Thank hosts graciously and head back onto the street. Wander the Quarter, bumping into friends and let chance be your guide. Hopefully this will lead you to another house party with freshly shucked oysters and a big pot of gumbo.
5:00—The hangover will start to kick in. You'll suddenly realize you have been going nonstop since the previous Thursday and that nothing sounds better than teleporting to your bed.
King cake and the remains of king cake.Photo by Kaitlin Bray
5:30—But first, fried chicken. Gnaw on leg in front of your favorite convenience store. Catch a glimpse of your reflection in the window and feel mildly scared by what greets you.