Having only witnessed Mardi Gras via the “boob tube,” as my father likes to call it, I had no idea what to expect. I am someone who likes lots of layers. “More clothes!” is my battle cry whenever I see someone too scantily clad.

Friends assured me, however, that there were, in fact, family-friendly sections of the parade route. I needled my husband into attending the three parades (Babylon, Chaos and Muses) this past Thursday.

Our owner is a non-marching member of the Muses, and during a break I took from my usual inventorying, I discovered a giant bag of Muse booty in our back room. I hung some from the fan, and I covered myself in it and shook the beads and bracelets at my co-workers in the new store. They were not as amused as I. They had seen it all already.

I was  excited to see the Muses because this krewe and I share a shoe fetish. Though, as of late, I have been kinder to my feet. When I was a classroom teacher, I wore some serious shoes. As long as I kept on walking, I could pretend they were not pinching my piggies. No wonder Naomi Campbell is so cranky–starving and wearing impossible shoes!

After parking our car for $20 in a school lot (I’m a sucker for educational fundraisers), my mister and I grabbed some beignets and chocolate milk. We walked to St. Charles, close to Toledano, and looked for some of his co-workers. Now, my mister is normally a shy guy, but once he saw his co-workers jumping around, he felt free to chase the floats. Plus, I told him it was his job (he’s taller after all) to bring me loot.

When the Muses got to us, the crowd was at its most delirious. I commanded my husband to get me a shoe! Each time the group of us went in, we compared our treasures. What did you get? Ooo! That’s cool. Wanna trade? While I was trying to get a Muse lunchbox, a woman actually slapped my hands away. We were like kids around giant Muse pinatas.

Towards the end of the Muse Krewe floatage, one Muse tried to get  a white ceramic shoe on pink beads to me twice. The first time, this gift bounced off me and another reveler got it. The second time, the throw smacked me in the forehead. I dove to the ground to retrieve it. The Saints would have recruited me on the spot.

Emerging, I realized I was going to have a bit of a bump on my head. My forehead was tender to the touch. One of my mister’s co-workers told me it was like a rite of passage. It’s a shame I did not have to get stitches. I could not have been prouder of myself.

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