So what if I told you that the interest over this Mardi Gras dress situation rivals that of Khloe Kardashian’s life? I mean, my house could burn down and someone will still be concerned about my dress situation. This is the South, and Southern women know that clothes are serious business. What’s a good ole Southern Baptist girl like me have to do with Mardi Gras? I live on the Coast, that’s what!

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”. This is the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. I actually enjoy observing Lent because it calls for one to fast of something in his/her life that can help one become closer to God. I hope I’m explaining correctly (feel free to correct me as I’m not the authority on this).

I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi (Clinton, actually, a suburb nearby), the home of the Hal and Mal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade, Sweet Potato Queen Parade, and Mistletoe Marketplace. Mardi Gras isn’t usually a big concern in the state capital. I married a Coast boy and moved “south”, however, and have had to learn the correct way to peel crawfish, pronounce names of towns correctly as in “Gautier” and “D’Iberville”, and find an acceptable Mardi Gras gown.

This is the Escatawpa River. The Coast is a beautiful place to live.

The Young Men’s Business Club is an organization in Moss Point, Mississippi. This group holds a ball each year in which Dukes, Duchesses, and a King and Queen of Joy are crowned. As an aside, I was confused when my husband first joined (he was twenty-three), because there were young men AND men about the age of Methuselah. Anyway, the king is usually a “mature ” fellow (i.e. grandpa material) and the Queen is a college-aged little thing. They, alongside the dukes and duchesses, are chosen based on their contributions to the community. It’s a fun ball, and a highlight in the community. Chosen participants are from Moss Point, Pascagoula, Gautier, and other surrounding areas.

The ball starts with the presentation of the Court followed by the King of Joy and then the Queen of Joy. The king and queen are masked to hide their identities until the crowning. There are usually cute little boys and girls acting as crown-bearers. We common folk sit at tables, but not just any old fold-out tables. It looks like a White House State Dinner complete with catered food and decor such as gorgeous floral and Mardi Gras arrangements. The court files off the stage for an opening dance, then the audience is invited to dance and mingle the rest of the night (usually this consists of husbands talking a lot and wives looking for them insistent on a dance or two). It’s almost like playing Cinderella for one night. “Here, let me forget about dirty diapers, housework, homework, teen angst, and bills for for five hours”…. a middle-aged mom’s dream.đŸ˜‚

So… the dress? I did find one. It’s acceptable. Passable. Whatever. You know the one. Sort of like saying you got a “C” in biology. Not spectacular. Not horrible. It will do. Now… to send the other one back. I promised I would write about it and I will (I have to because it’s equal parts funny and sad… and funny ). For now, though, I’m happy (finger quotes) with the long, navy, sequined dress I found (the price was right, too). Eat your heart out, Khloe, and laissez les bons temps rouler!

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