Thursday, March 17, 2011

What I dressed up as for Mardi Gras

I know loyal followers of this blog are just DYING to know what I dressed up as for Mardi Gras, after I threatened to be a giant latex egg like Lady Gaga last month.

No latex needed! I did not dress up as an egg.

I decided to dress as a Pinot Grigio wine grape (although too much Pinot Grigio can LEAD to the need for a latex…um, nothing mom).

I don’t remember how I came up with the wine grape idea (probably while drinking wine) but I figured it was a broad enough costume to get my friends to dress up as grapes, too.

I wanted a “krewe,” see, and my genius Harry Potter “Mudblood Mardi Gras” idea was universally panned.

I brainstormed for two days about how the Krewe de Wine Grape was going to work, and I had grand plans to carry a sign with “KREWE OF NOTHING TO WHINE ABOUT” because I’ve been trying to look on the bright side of life these days, and, I like puns.

I wanted us each to drink the type of wine grape we dressed up as ALL DAY, and eat cheese and crackers.

And then, to make it even more expensive hilarious, I came up with the idea to buy a violin and play it in a screeching manner very loudly if anyone whined that day (i.e. the “tiniest violin in the world.”)

I bought the violin off Craig's List for $10 which I thought was the deal of the year, but then it cost $17 to restring and add a bridge so it could play. And the bow costs $8, so...dammit.

Moving on.
I knew I was going to pin green balloons to a nude dress to make the grape costume, because it's easy and cheap. Ok, so it was really a nude Spanx dress. (I'm easy and cheap).

I went to Party City and bought a pack of green “kiwi lime” colored balloons and then raided a Michael’s-type craft store for anything grape-related.

And then I didn’t do anything until Mardi Gras day, because that’s how I roll: procrastination-style.

It took about an hour of prep time the morning of Mardi Gras to get the balloons blown up (halfway) and pinned onto the dress Spanx, and my very kind and patient friends had to help “balloon” me in places I couldn’t reach.

Unfortunately, I didn’t plan the logistics of the balloon grape outfit in advance. I realized very quickly that there are many everyday things you can’t do when you’re covered in balloons.

Like bend over.
...To put on your own shoes.

Yes, my friend (fellow wine grape, of the Pinot Noir variety) had to HELP ME PUT MY SHOES ON because I couldn’t bend over or else I’d poop pop myself.

AND I wore tennis shoes, so my friend had to HOLD THE TONGUE OF THE SHOE UP while I wiggled my foot into it. (She’d be a good mommy.)

Really, the whole day I felt helpless, like a child.
(Only, a child drinking mass quantities of wine.)

My friends had to help me put the shiny green accessories into my hair, shove my “grape leaves” into the back of my Spanx and attach fake grapes to my shoes.

Oh, right, and carry all my things for me, all day.



And everyone LOVED it! As my fellow wine champagne-dressed friend pointed out, “people respond really well to balloons.”

hahahaha. (He's my friend, y'all.)

On the way to the French Quarter on Mardi Gras day, I was stopped no less than SEVEN times by strangers asking to take a picture with me. (MISSION ACCOMPLISHED).

Although, an on-duty police officer did get all pervy and ask me if he could “pick my grapes.” And I was referred to several times as the “Fruit of the Loom girl” and “Grapes of Wrath.”

No matter; I was so excited about all the attention that I didn’t care that people got my outfit wrong (PINOT GRIGIO PEOPLE!!!)

I also had to get over the fact that I couldn’t put my arms down completely all day.
(Shoulder muscle group, welcome to the Mardi Gras!!)

Feel the burn!

The violin was fun. I got to play it several times because I heard people say they were tired of walking. WHINE. WHINE. WHINE.


And there was cheese!

nom nom nom nom nom

The only thing that didn’t play out in my original vision was the “KREWE OF NOTHING TO WHINE ABOUT” sign, which never happened because I ran out of time and money.

(But I wouldn't have been able to carry it anyway, as my arms were completely useless.)

For anyone considering covering themselves with balloons for a costume, be warned: it’s not an easy costume to wear all day, especially when trying to fit in tight spaces among groups of people. I've never been so aware of how much space I was taking up.

I believe my word of the day was “cumbersome" (or "clumbersthome" depending on how much wine I had consumed.)

I had to deal with the balloons being squeezed and popped (sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident) and I had to detour around big groups of people on the street because I couldn’t fit through them, while my fellow non-ballooned wine krewe had no problem getting from point A to point B.

By the end of the day, more Spanx was showing than kiwi lime balloons.


But, my krewe helped keep me together and decent-looking, and I adore them all for dressing up with me and...uh, tying my shoes.

Yay for friends!!! Yay for wine!!!

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go re-sell the violin on Craig’s List for double what I paid.

And pour myself another glass.


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