As most of you know, we are moving to Colorado … someday … I hope … but that’s another story.
As we plan to leave the town both of us have called home for our entire lives, we find ourselves a bit nostalgic, and have become rather intrepid tourists of the city we thought we knew like the back of our hands.
We want to try everything we haven’t, explore new areas, see new things. We want no regrets when our move finally comes to fruition.
Much like my elder son vacationing in Las Vegas, I find myself signing up for things that are greatly in conflict with my character. In fact, to those very few that I let into my world, I think they could answer the question: “What is the least likely St. Louis activity that Cheri would attend?”
I think the guesses would be:
5. A Blue’s hockey game (not going)
4. A concert, any concert, at Riverport (not going)
3. Veiled Prophet Ball (going)
2. Up in the arch one more time, even though I am mortally, flop sweatingly afraid of heights (going)
1. The St. Louis Mardi Gras Parade (going!)
I am not only attending Mardi Gras, I am going to be riding on a float in the parade, in costume, throwing beads.
My friend Barb has been on a float committee for twenty-five plus years. She has sporadically asked me to join her, well knowing the answer before I would reply. This year, I said yes, and volunteered hubs as well.
This is not such a stretch for my darling spouse. He loves people, crowds, excitement, parades and beer. I like exactly none of those things.
Friend Barb has been a constant in my life since we met in the dorm our freshman year of college, some XX years ago. (Journalism major here, plus I don’t want to contemplate how old we really are.) She is excited we are finally joining her in this crazy celebration, but she is, first and foremost, my friend. She wants me to be fully aware just what participation in Mardi Gras entails.
She started slowly. “Well, it costs $100 each, and you have to help with fundraising and go to meetings and stuff.” Hmm, okay. “It’s usually really cold, and sometimes rainy, and you have to wear a costume that goes with this year’s theme.” Okay. “We meet early in the morning, so we usually get a hotel room downtown the night before.” Gotcha. “Everyone drinks a lot of beer, starting when they wake up, but there’s a porta potty on the float.” Sure. “Afterwards, all of downtown is crazy, filled wall-to-wall with over-imbibers, and it’s impossible to get a taxi or Uber. We usually spend the night in a downtown hotel again.” I’m good with that.
She continued with a litany of situations that would bother me, wanting to be sure I was fully informed what lay ahead if I chose to actually attend the debauchery.
Finally, the next morning, I received a text.
“Did I tell you last year someone pooped in the glass elevator of our hotel?”
I replied: “Well, Barb, you’re setting an awfully high bar for me, but I’ll see what I can do.”
I’m still going.