It’s the Sunday before Mardi Gras, and morale is already low. We’ve somehow all morphed into a Ke$ha-like state of uncleanliness and glitter stuck to our faces. The parades have been rolling with full force since Wednesday, and Broadway looks like one gigantic dumpster of red solo cups, fried chicken remains (we’ll get into the Popeyes vs. Cane’s debate another time), and scraps of wigs, glitter, and tutus. Most New Orleanians won’t head back to school until Wednesday or even next Monday, but this Mardi Gras happened to coincide with many students’ midterm weeks, so if you’re like me and have three midterms in the next school week, hang in there, I am with you in spirit. As a procrastination technique, I’ve crafted this analysis of Mardi Gras debauchery through the lens of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Prior to the main Mardi Gras weekend, parades have been sneaking up on you these past few weeks. The Boot has had an uncanny amount of beer deliveries this month, and Amazon.com has probably had a 10000% increase in orders for fanny packs, body glitter, and whimsical leggings. Freshmen have been waiting all year for their first college Mardi Gras experience, as they discuss Costco runs, pregame plans, and claim a firm understanding of the phrase, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” But these bright, hopeful souls don’t know what is in store.
Meanwhile, your professors decide to schedule all of your midterms conveniently around this time of excess drinking, eating, and all-around ratchetness. You check your syllabus and realize you have actual studying to do in addition to this week of Mardi Gras celebrations ahead of you, and you understand the tenacity of the impending doom that’s headed your way.
Rather than immediately jumping on your studying, you need a day to process this hellish week that’s about to happen to you. The stress that arises from the realization of your future stress is exhausting, and you definitely require some time and some wine to help you relax.
The next thing you know, parades have already started and you’re dousing yourself in glitter, making a drink, and eating queso somehow all at the same time trying to prepare for the walk down St. Charles to the parade route. Preparation is key, and your multitasking skills are impressive at this point.
After walking miles and miles down the parade route, you stand for hours on a ladder, screaming at random strangers to give you beads and forcefully stealing throws from children without a second thought.
The night continues, and your cup somehow keeps getting refilled. You search for literally any place to pee, eat whatever edible substances you can find, and most likely lose your friends along the way at least once. The struggles ensue.
The parades end. You go home. You jump into bed regardless of the ungodly combination of smells engulfing your body.
You wake up in the morning feeling not so hot. You low-key hate yourself for your current state of exhaustion, dehydration, bowel discomfort, and memories of the prior night’s events. And all you can think is…
After attempting to get out of bed, the thought of your midterms creeps up on you, and you wish you could peace out so fast and majestically leave all of this midtern nonsense behind.
But then, like Jon Snow arising from the dead, you prevail. You can study AND have a killer time at Mardi Gras (with a little planning ahead and a lot of water).
You can have your King Cake and eat it, too!! Happy Mardi Gras to all my fellow students at Tulane and beyond the wall!!