Back in the late 90s (I can’t believe that’s possible), the place for us to be for all the fun Mardi Gras parades was St. Charles Ave and First Street. As always, times were different. I had a flip phone and pictures came out blurry in the dark, and not due to the swaying after a few too many daiquiris. At 16, you think you are invincible. I sure as hell did and walked up and down the street with a to-go cup hiding my illegal alcoholic drink. So, you may think you are getting one over on us now, but let me tell you, we have already done it … and probably did it better.
Here are a few tips from a mom who once thought “I am so cool!”
- Please do not drink, I know this happens; I did it. I admit there was one parade I vaguely remember waking up from being passed out on the ground (sorry Mom). I recall my friends being around, but something could have happened, and I was in no shape to make rash decisions or make good choices. So, please, go out with your friends and just enjoy the parade hanging out together. There will be plenty of time in your life to drink and party.
- Make sure you watch for your friends. Do not leave them, even if they have been drinking and are being difficult. Stick to your guns and make sure they are safe.
- The internet is forever. We did not have the technology or amazing camera phones like you all have today. Thank goodness. You may do something, and it gets recorded or photographed, and your life can be over in a hot second. Not a risk you want to take, I promise.
- Do not drive if you have had something to drink or the person you came with had something to drink, and they are being stubborn and want to drive. Call your parents or someone you feel comfortable with. I was always afraid to call my parents knowing I would be in trouble. I have made sure my son will never feel that way. Teenagers make mistakes. Adults even make mistakes, but I promise your parents would rather you call, and you stay safe. You have to face the consequences of your actions.
- Try to have a safe and happy Mardi Gras that you will actually remember. It is something I wish I heard back then, even if I would have rolled my eyes and probably done it anyway. All you can do is enjoy being young and know that you can make the right decisions.