I took Peggy to her very first Mardi Gras Ball last night. The Karnival Krewe de Louisiane apparently lowered their standards and allowed me back into a Mardi Gras ball for the first time in many years. Suckers…
I used to attend balls when I was a teenager living in Louisiana. The Mardi Gras balls are kind of a Louisiana-specific debutante ball, and there is usually a “court” of young girls whose parents paid a lot of money for them to be part of the festivities. The young ladies need escorts, so a teenage dude with a tuxedo can find himself at some pretty good parties. I guess I attended my last ball when I was about fifteen. It’s a little different as an adult, especially when you realize how much the parents are spending for their girls to participate.
As always, Peggy looked amazing and attracted many glances from other attendees. I’m pretty sure most of the looks were of the “What is she doing here with him?” variety, but I’m good with that because, you know, she was there with me. Scoreboard.
The interesting part of this ball is that they had an indoor parade as part of the celebration. Most times the parade is an outdoor event. Since it was 35 degrees outside we were quite pleased that the parade was inside the convention center, though the smell of exhaust fumes hung heavy in the air for a while.
We had a blast with work friends, but Peggy nailed the night with her description — an air-conditioned tailgate party that you have to dress up to attend. Each table provides its own food and drink, so you eat and drink whatever you and your friends bring with you. The best part of the evening is after all the ceremony is over and the band comes out to play. They were awesome so we got some good dancing in before we headed out at a reasonable hour.
I think Peggy might even be OK if this is her last Mardi Gras ball, too. I’m glad she got to attend one, but I am certainly not looking for more balls to attend. In the immortal words of Roger Murtaugh, “I’m getting too old for this…”
Peggy grew up in the Dallas area and I moved there when I was 15. We lived up there until 1995. We don’t talk much about living there since we left so long ago, but we have many close friends that still live in Dallas. One of the hidden blessings of Peggy’s frequent trips to Dallas to be with her mother is that we get to spend time with friends, too.
We have two sets of friends in Dallas that have been very meaningful in our lives. With one of the couples we have spent either New Years or Independence Day together for the past 25 years. With the other we spent Christmas Eve virtually every year we lived in Katy. This weekend we got to see them both.
JR and Sue have been friends of ours since our children were still babies. They have two sons that are a little younger than Mike, and no matter where we have lived William and David have been among Mike’s closest friends. This weekend David got married, so his wedding was the catalyst for our Dallas visit.
Scott and Amy returned to Dallas from Katy a couple of years ago. Peggy was actually in All-Region Band with both Scott and Amy during high school, but we didn’t really become friends until we all lived in Katy. Since we were all usually involved in the Christmas Eve services at church, we developed a tradition of having dinner together afterward. Scott and Amy have three daughters, the oldest of which is the same age as Mike, so we always have had much in common.
The rehearsal dinner was fun, the wedding was beautiful and it was a great day. Of course, you never get to spend enough time with the parents of the groom, but it was a wonderful time and we saw a lot of old friends.
Then we went and met Scott and Amy for drinks after the wedding celebration was over. It wasn’t Christmas Eve dinner but it was so great to see them and spend some time together.
The best thing about old friends is that when you get together you just pick back up where you left off the last time you saw them. It was a tremendous opportunity to spend some quality time with people we love. And we got to visit with Peggy’s Mom while we were in Dallas.