Unlike my colleagues here at ATVS, I do not live in Louisiana. I did not grow up in Louisiana, though both of my parents did. I attended LSU, but I have not lived in the state of Louisiana since 1997. I have many friends who do, and I am only one state over, but I am not in the most unique, wondrous state in the union.
It is on Mardi Gras I feel this most acutely.
My facebook feed is currently a flurry of parade photos and king cake recipes. It is bad French and good food, all celebrating a holiday that barely even exists outside of southern Louisiana. This is not a day in which we celebrate the last day before Lent, it is a day in which we celebrate our connection to Louisiana.
Most of our readers are fortunate enough to have a much stronger bond than I do. Some of you are nursing your Lundi Gras hangover right now, or at least rubbing you sore feet and hoarse throat. But it is still a bond I feel, one that I am so lucky to have. Louisiana gets inside of you, and once it is a part of you, that part never lets go. It is often the best part of you.
It is crawfish and beer, café au lait and beignet, or just good wine and even better friends. Today is a celebration of all that makes us unique and really, not so unique at all. Sure, Alabama might be jealous of how great Mardi Gras is (I'm looking at you Mobile), but there's room for everybody at this party. There's no bouncer at the gate, preventing any of us from enjoying life to the fullest.
And that's what Mardi Gras is about to me. It's the day of the year Louisiana most pulls at my heart strings. I look around Dallas, and it is a normal day. We all went to work, just like we did the day before and will do the day after. Yet one state over, you can hear the crazy neighbors partying. Far be it from me to call the cops on them.
I wish it was me. I miss you, Louisiana, save some king cake for me.