Different Kind of Party

Different Kind of Party

Jul09-2I went through my closets packing for a week in Houston. I knew we were going to the Carribean Festival there and would need to dress accordingly for each of the parties.  Now, anyone that knows me knows that if there’s a party and an outfit is needed, Michelle Yeager has a dress that will fit the occasion.  (with a closet dedicated just to dresses, one of the 100 in there must work).

I was pretty much set for all of the events – except for one.  I was told to not wear anything cute.  Actually, nothing even close to cute.  It was suggested I dig in my closet, deep in the back, and find something I probably never would wear again.  Hmmm!?  What type of party was this?

First of all, who really hangs on to clothes that they are never planning on wearing again?  Secondly, if I did find something, why would I want to wear it out in public?  I searched high and low and found a pair of old black shorts.  I went to the store and found a decent shirt on sale for $3.  I kept my hair wrapped and covered (as if I were on my way to sleep) and put a cheap baseball hat over it.  I got dressed, looked in the mirror, and couldn’t believe I was really headed to a party.

We pulled up to this huge empty space outside close to 1am and the place was packed with thousands of people.  Everyone, men and women, were dressed just like me.  Nobody looked cute.  And I soon understood why.  Within 10 minutes of being there someone walked up to me and asked if I was warned about what type of party this was.  I said yes.  Instantly I received a dab of green paint on my wrist.  I thought to myself that wasn’t too bad.  Unfortunately that thought didn’t last very long.  Within minutes I was covered with green paint on my arms, my legs, my face and even down my back.  Throughout the night people were covered with various colors of paint.  Oil was tossed through the crowd like free money.  Folks threw out more baby powder than Labron.  Fires were lit on sticks – and the crowd loved every minute of it.  I stood as far to the side as possible when I saw the water truck pull up. The people celebrated as the hose sprayed everyone in its path. I saw a real pig’s head (don’t know what happened to the body) and a guy dressed like Santa who had a bag for his urine/alcohol attached to his belt.  This was definitely a no holds barred event.

This was a traditional Carribean festival event and the crowd was proud of their heritage and their music.  Dozens of flags waved in the air of the different countries represented and everyone had a great time.   The hips gyrated, the sweat was dripping in full force, the soca beats were alive and people celebrated and could have cared less who was around.  The ‘get hype’ songs had everyone’s feet jumping off the ground and there was not a dull moment the entire night.  This party, called J’ouvert, was definitely a change from a typical Louisville party.  However, it was one I needed to experience and also one that I will never forget!

M.Y. July 2009

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