I am sorry that I have not written in so many weeks, but you would not believe how very busy we have been. You knew that I finally gave in and allowed my parents to plan a debut for me which involved being a Mardi Gras queen. New Orleans makes a big fuss about this kind of event and I guess it was just easier for me to go ahead and agree to play the debutante game as my mother and her mother did.
As the queen of the Mystic Krewe of Comus, I was costumed and made up. I wore a "stiff, brocaded gown, with my powered hair and jeweled fan" and my train made "a pink and silver stain" on the red carpet that I walked to meet the king (Lowell, 1). It was a pageant that has little to do with the real world in which we live and yet it is filled with rich symbolism that has been a part of New Orleans for generations. I was so exhausted that I was "very like to swoon with the weight of the brocade" of which my dress was made (Lowell, 2).
The evening was almost endless. The dress I wore was heavy and I have to admit that it was beautiful, if uncomfortable. We began the day by meeting with other debutants and their mothers for breakfast - the Queen's Breakfast - and then I spent the entire afternoon being made up, dressed, photographed, pushed, and pulled by my mother and my aunts. When the ball started, I was exhausted and yet excited. I realized that my mother was right and that I would have regretted not participating in this silly, outdated, and yet exciting ritual.
We paraded for what seemed like hours and then we danced for many more hours. After the ball ended, there was yet another party and I was finally able to relax because my part in the celebration was over. My mother cried and I think my father cried as well.
I have enclosed a photograph that was taken of me at the ball. As you can see I look like someone from the very distant past. I am completely hooked on this Carnival madness and am alrea