Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sisterhood of the Big Easy

How fitting that seventeen hours after I got up to fly to New Orleans, I was headed to a party.

Arriving at an ungodly 10 a.m. (what was I thinking when I booked that flight?) and having already spent a full a full day gallivanting around the Garden District with my two favorite sisters, I was there for yet another sister's tenth anniversary extravaganza.

Walking over to Galvez (a restaurant chosen for its enormous balconies overlooking the water), a guy drives by us and says, "Hey, ladies, please come ride in my truck with me."

Not that all three of us would have fit in the front seat, or that it was the best offer we got last night.

I hadn't been to New Orleans since my sister's last anniversary party five years ago.

She and her husband  consider NOLA their favorite U.S. city (which is why they got married there) while I find the smell of urine and vomit a bit much after a while.

But a party's a party and they wash down the streets every morning, so I can deal.

The party is always over the top with them hiring a brass band of their favorite musicians, a big staff of servers to keep everyone well-lubricated and even a cigar-rolling station.

Since I'd never seen cigars hand rolled before, I went over to observe. A guy was standing there trying to decide which kind he wanted, so I asked about the differences in the three sizes laid out on the table.

"The thinner ones tend to be harsher," he explained. Did that rule apply to women as well, I asked him.

"Well, I like a harsh woman but a fat cigar," he said, clinking glasses with me.

With close to seventy people at the party, my sisters and I must have heard sixty times, "Oh, you must be the sisters!"

Gee, is it that obvious? (it is).

The party shifted into high gear when a costumed (feather and glitter and a four-foot headdress) dancer arrived with an entourage and began snaking through the party.

It's always fun to see strangers drunkenly dancing. No doubt they felt the same way about us.

My brother-in-law clumsily tried to set me up with a good friend of his by sending him over with Patron for two.

"So, tell me your life story," he said very sweetly. I did the Cliff's Notes version so as not to bore him.

By the time the party wound down, I had been up for twenty two hours.

Even so, we stopped in an open artist's studio on the way home and insisted that he do a drawing of one of my sisters.

As I stood behind the artist's chair watching him sketch while the other sister cracked wise, I considered where I was at this hour.

Slightly loopy in a room with 15' ceilings with walls covered floor to ceiling in brightly-colored paintings, Smokey Robinson blaring on the stereo and my two favorite sisters laughing hysterically at everything and nothing.

Who needs to sleep?

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