Mardi Gras is about as early as it can get this year with Krewe du Vieux kicking things off on January 23rd! In New Orleans, we’re all eating King Cake. My genius friend and fellow Pussyfooter dancer ,Christine Miller of Two Chicks Walking Tours, hosts an annual “potluck” where women bring King Cakes from local bakeries and kitchens. (photo below by Elizabeth Zibilich). Like last year, I wasn’t able to attend but was the lucky recipient of a plate of samples from District Donuts Sliders Brew, Hi Do Bakery and the always amazing Manny Randazzo King Cakes. And like every year, I enjoyed the tradition of converting our home’s Christmas tree to a Mardi Gras tree.
Most of our Christmas ornaments I made from Sculpey clay, glass beads or chandelier crystals. Though our Mardi Gras tree has a few of my handmade adornments, most of the ornaments are medallions from beads we’ve caught in parades over the years. So hanging the 6 Krewe of Muses annual shoe medallions transported me back to those parades, standing on the curb watching it go by for 4 years then dancing in the parade for the past 2 years. Finding a spot for my Zulu ornaments takes me back to my first year living here when the Saints won the Super Bowl DURING Mardi Gras in one of the most magical moments in the history of partying and celebration. It’s a moment I’ve done my best to capture in my upcoming book, The Secret of the Other Mother: A Charlotte Reade Mystery.
And decorating the tree gets me excited for the season ahead. King Cake aside, Carnival season really begins for me at the Pussyfooter’s annual Blush Ball this Friday benefitting Metropolitan Center for Women and Children (METRO), a domestic violence non-profit. The Soul Rebels will play along with DJ Ronnie Roux and my dancing pink sisters and I will dance and debut our new uniform pieces. Cinderella may have gotten to attend a ball, but every year we get to host one!
As a child, I dreamed of going to a ball in a fancy pink dress that made me feel beautiful. As a grown woman, this will be the third time I’m attending a ball in a fancy pink… corset. With combat boots. And I already know that I’ll feel beautiful. Because not only is our uniform designed to accent our curves, it expresses the beauty of women coming together to dance for women and children in need. And it glorifies the femininity of these dancing women, many of whom are executives, business owners, nurses, teachers, moms and other “boss women” who have to be pretty tough outside our corsets.
Enjoy the tree and I hope to see you when I’m parading with the Pussyfooters!