When I arrived in New Orleans, swiping through Tinder, I started seriously questioning my decision to move here.
Why are all these men in red dresses?! Where did I just move to?!
I had no idea what was happening…. so. many. red. dresses. Oh mighty Goolge, please explain this phenomenon!
Oh, so this is a thing… like, people come from all over just for this event…. The Red Dress Run
Its an adult only party (21+), for running groups with a drinking problem apparently. Nobody tracks the actual distance of the run, I’m told its between 3-4 miles, that is put on by the local hash group in New Orleans, and benefits a multitude of local charities. The registration includes free booze, food, entertainment, and giveaways.
Did I register for the actual race? nope. But I sure as hell was going to be part of the fun! AKA being one in the mass of individuals in a red dress on Bourbon Street. Luckily the meetup group I’m a part of here was hosting an event so nobody would be navigating alone and the plan was to meet at Fat Tuesday’s on Bourbon at 10am. yessss I had a plan 🙂
Wait, why don’t I own a red dress?! Thats a lie… I do own a red dress… but its Calvin Klein and that’s a little too fancy for Bourbon street.
Now I had procrastinated long enough and was only 2 days from the big event. I should probably start looking for something red to wear. I’d been traveling through Baton Rouge, Meridian, and Birmingham in those two days and had zero time to locate said dress. I checked everywhere through Birmingham…. Old Navy, New York & Co, francesca’s, Ross, Nordstrom Rack, Rue21, and finally Target & Walmart. Target had ONE dress, a lace maxi. Honestly, I didn’t even try it on. I just bought the thing and grabbed a Starbucks on the way out (I’d had a migraine all day). I figured “meh, if it doesn’t fit, I have a Target at home, I can return it there”.
Then I started thinking about something I’d seen on Pinterest. Good ‘ol Pinterest.
Hmmm… Turning a T-shirt into a dress… I can totally make that happen. Wal*Mart it is, a 3X men’s t-shirt should work just fine and for $4 at that. I love a good deal!
I arrived home around midnight, and was back up early enough to get my Saturday started. Finally, an entire weekend off (I know…. “but you were at the BEACH last weekend”, I was still working). Anyway, I tried on both my options and decided “hey, this t-shirt isn’t so bad! It’s actually half awesome!” and out I went on my 2 mile walk to Bourbon to meet the girls.
Funny coincidence, I turned down Canal Street towards Bourbon and was able to pick out a group of friends! Long story short, I never made it to the Meetup group. This group of 10 wandered all around the French Quarter for the day. And nobody noticed my “dress” was actually a t-shirt until I pointed it out.
We started on Bourbon
And then were told to head back to Canal for a friend of a friend’s pregame. So up we went. Fun observaion: the brilliant marketers of New Orleans shops had designed all their window displays to feature every red dress in stock.
As soon as we walked into the luxury condo lobby, we were met by the most crochety woman ever. She started yelling and complaining about how we were so obnoxious, coming in there acting like a frat party. I’m sorry ma’am, we’ve just arrived. She was yelling at us thinking we were the same group that came in 5 minutes ago, to her defense, we were all wearing red dresses, it can be kind of difficult to tell people apart. But even better, SHE was also wearing a red dress…. not her best decision for the day. She kept on her tirade for a good 10 minutes… “IT’S 10:30am ON A SATURDAY, YA’LL NEED TO HAVE SOME RESPECT, THESE ARE LUXURY APARTMENTS, PEOPLE LIVE HERE”. calm down ma’am, have a drink, you live in downtown New Orleans…
We ended up at two separate apartments in that visit, and then back to Bourbon.
What. A. Mess.
What had I gotten myself into. It felt like New York City. And it was so much fun. I’m glad I wore my makeshift t-shirt dress, because I spotted a few men in the Target maxi who actually wore it much better than I did. After we made our way through the masses, we meandered towards food, we waited an obnoxiously long time for the waitress to approach our subdued table of 10, but ate and made our way back to one of the hotels to meet some work colleagues of one of the guys in the group.
Yep, this party was on a balcony. My first experience on a Bourbon Street balcony. It’s a much different mind frame when you’re the one throwing the beads vs. trying to avoid being hit in the head or catching them on the street.
One of the major rules of Bourbon Street… DO NOT pick up anything from the ground. gross. But balcony mentality? The goal is to get as many beads as possible into unsuspecting passerby’s open drinks. Some of our group succeeded too! It was quite the experience. We spent some time on the balcony, and then headed back down Bourbon to another balcony event, we didn’t stay long. We’d been in the sun all day and were fading fast.
We decided to start the 2 mile trek back towards a friend’s apartment, mainly because he has a pool. Luckily we found Gelado to keep us cool to start.
As soon as we got to the apartment we all crashed in the cool AC. We never made it to the pool either, but decided we all needed showers and then we’d meet back up for some Pho. A long day, but filled with friends a laughter.
Now I get it.