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Mardi Gras Madness!

Written by  shadowblind
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Before I met my fiance, I was living in New Orleans, where I was born and raised. Some of my family and a majority of my friends were there. I had evacuated for Katrina with some of them when I was 16. At the time we met, January 27, 2008, I had dropped out of college and a REALLY bad relationship the month previous, was looking for a job and, and the Saturday before Mardi Gras, I was hanging at one of the few bars that let me (then underage) in. My friend who'd brought me out to the French Quarter was having a rough night, and pretty much ignored me while getting plastered, even though he had to drive.

After dancing on the floor upstairs, I squeezed my way to the not as busy bar downstairs. It was still hell trying to get the bartender's attention. By the time I got my way to the actual bar, still trying to flag down a bartender, I noticed I was standing next to this cool-looking guy with an awesome red paisley hat, smoking my brand of cigarettes. It wasn't the best Mardi Gras for me that night, so I asked him if he'd bum me a cigarette. I was about to walk away when he said it was his last one, but he stopped me and said that he was getting another pack.

We started a conversation. I found out he was from Seattle, was visiting the city for Mardi Gras, was raised in Alaska, and a slew of other unbelievably awesome things.

He invited me to come and hang out with him and his tattoo-and-piercing-covered friend (his future best man), whose family he was visiting with. My drunk friend asked if I wanted to come back with him and I declined as politely as I could with him in that condition. I had a few things in his car so I walked the 20 blocks back with him, after assuring my (future) fiance that I would be right back, I promise!

After getting my things, I angrily stomped my way back to the bar calling anyone I knew lived nearby to see if I could couch surf for the night, and found no one available on Mardi Gras Weekend. I finally got back to the bar with my things, thankful to find my (future) fiance and best man. We talked a little while longer and I showed them a few good places to eat. As the night wore on they wound up asking me where I was headed after things mellowed out in the Quarter (around 3-5am, most of the time). I told them my last resort: calling my mother. She always said she'd come get me at any time of night if I called her. But I also didn't want to wait an hour for her to get there just hear her complain about coming to get me the entire trip home.

Then they invited me to stay with them for the night. I'll admit I was VERY skeptical at first. But the connection that I was getting from these guys told me that everything would be fine, and that these were good people. And I was right. Once we got to the penthouse they were staying in, our best man crashed on the couch.

We went outside, smoked, and literally talked until the sun came up. Around 7 in the morning we looked at the clock and decided it was time for bed. After sleeping for a few hours at the penthouse, we woke up, and took in a parade before heading out to Bourbon Street. The next morning they were heading back to the airport, I went with them to wish them a farewell. My (future) fiance asked for my number, and I very happily gave it to him, but I didn't think it was anything serious. I thought that we had a fun time while he was in town, and that he'd go back to his own life and probably never even think about me again.

He called me that night. And the night after. And the night after that. I was still skeptical about this guy, so I took things really slow; well, as slow as you can go when you're long-distance. He offered to buy me a ticket to visit him in Seattle, which, after only getting to know him for a month, seemed a little fast for me. I said I don't know how I'd feel accepting such an expensive gift from him so early. So he said, "Then I'll just come to you." He flew down to see me six times before I moved to Seattle, 8 months later, at one point introducing me to his parents. He also bought me a ticket up to Seattle, and brought me to his family's camp on a lake in New York to meet his brother, sister-in-law and their kids. From then on, I've always felt like a part of the family.

I've got a weird, painful past, and finding him has been the best thing in the world for me. He's supportive in ways no one I've ever known has ever been. And now I get to start a whole new life with someone who from the first minute I saw him has always kept my fascination. I don't know that I fell in love with him that very night, but I definitely got a feeling that I would never forget him. Four years later, I can't imagine my life without him, past, present, and future.

Last modified on Thursday, 12 April 2012 21:10

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