Planned Spontaneity

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

Celebrating Mardi Gras Momus – The God of Satire and Mockery – on the Strand. Life can be so ironic.

I am working really hard on my spontaneity.  It’s on my to do list – to be more spontaneous.  I’ve discussed with Mr. Kaminski – planned if you will – that I can make an effort to be more like the poet Horace and subscribe to his philosophy of carpe diem. Yes, I had to explain to him who Horace was, then the derivation and meaning of the Latin phrase.  It was a moment killer.

So, when an impromptu invitation was issued to go to Galveston for Mardi Gras mischief, it was the perfect opportunity to for me to dip my toe into the pool of my newfound mindset.  Despite the blustery temps, I was up for an outdoor adventure of Mardi Gras madness as this was unchartered waters for me – both attending the Krewe of Carnivals and a spur of the moment adventure.  I packed one lone suitcase – it might have been extra-large – grabbed three coats of varying degrees, donned fabulous boots and sun glasses and was off for my doubloon debut.

All in all, I pulled myself together rather quickly, I must confess.  I did remember the essentials:  wine, diet coke, old lady meds, back up boots and two books.  I could have made it a week minimum with my impromptu packing efforts.

Heading out to the Strand for Galveston’s oldest parade Saturday night – the Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade – I was beyond excited.  I was ready for the spectacle.  Everything sparkled with purple, gold and green, and there were characters of indescribable measure.  Let’s just say I had questions, lots of questions, and I made a lot of new friends.

It was going great until the bead throwing thing started.  Now I was totally up for catching beads should some come my way, and I understood the game, which I was not about to participate in given the 30-degree weather and my Southern Baptist upbringing.  Then there’s the fact that when you get to a certain age, the girls tend to live below the Mason Dixon just north of the Rio Grande, so there’s that.  So, I wasn’t holding out much hope of an all-star performance in the bead catching competition, but with my newfound spontaneous attitude, I was all in to give this new sport a try.

But here’s the rub.  I’m not a sporty girl.  Never have been.  We are taught from an early age to avoid items being thrown at us.  That’s the very premise of dodge ball, which we learn in elementary school.  It’s why I don’t play tennis.  I do not participate in activities where someone is hurling or hitting a ball directly at me.  That makes no sense.  So, when these brightly colored, hard plastic bullets began literally hitting me in the face, it was a full-on military assault.  Yes, someone with better sports acumen could have caught them before they actually made contact with my forehead, my cheek, my nose, but not your girl.  In my pink fluffy cape, apparently, I was a sought-after target – the very objective of a carnival crowd spectator – sans the appropriate reflexes to play in the big league.

Dazed by the dangerous doubloons, I quickly sought cover. I immediately rectified the hostile situation by relocating behind Mr. Kaminski.  The maneuver was quite perplexing to the ladies next to me – me giving up my prime location on the front and all – until I explained the reason I brought back-up was to handle the incoming barrage. The ladies and I quickly became friends as Mr. Kaminski passed on the fruits of his labor, and I shared as any good Christian woman would.

A treasure trove of trinkets procured by Mr. Kaminski. And yes, he kept his shirt on.

All in all, it was a fabulous time with great friends, great food and a gargantuan supply of Mardi Gras treasures.  I think I’ll plan to do this spontaneous thing again but always with a back- up plan in tow in case there’s something sporty involved. See y’all next week – on the porch!


Patti Parish-Kaminski

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