Alternate title for this entry: My mother took me to Bourbon Street and all I got was scarred for life.
So, we’re in New Orleans the day after Thanksgiving, right? My SIL (Sister-in-Law) had never been to the French Quarter, my MIL (Mother-in-Law) hadn’t been in years, and LilZ and I had never been. MrZ had been the most recently of us all.
We walked a ways around the French Quarter, ate local food, bought some stuff, heard some music – it was nice. We had discussed trying to see Bourbon Street but my MIL mentioned that, “It’s kinda crazy there – I don’t know if you’ll want LilZ around that.” Of course, she learned later that since the last time she went to Bourbon Street things had changes from “Kinda Crazy” to “Downright Insane.”
Okay – this is where I prove how naive I was. I knew people flashed naked bits during Mardi Gras, but I kind figured that was the main “naughty” thing that we would see on Bourbon Street. So, since it was lunchtime the day after Thanksgiving, and the streets were filled with families, I figured we’d be pretty safe not seeing flashing going on at Bourbon Street. The worst I thought he’d see would be some crazy drunk people. And most of the time they can be an excellent source of entertainment. But, you know, it’s Bourbon Street! We had to go see it! Right?
Yeah. We asked some nice looking business man how to get to Bourbon Street and he pointed us in the right direction. We stopped at the street sign and took some pictures, and then, not 10 feet later, we turn our heads ever so slightly to the left – me walking immediately next to LilZ with the rest of the group a ways in front of us. What do we see? A “window” to a strip club covered in photos of their strippers. NAKED. Showing their secrets to us all. I was like: OHMYGOD. LilZ was like: OHMYGOD. It took me about 15 seconds to scan the area and see enough signs of more of the same to realize: Shit. I think maybe we’re in over our heads here, people.
I told LilZ to look at his feet and we turned off of Bourbon Street at the next block. Like I needed to tell him that, what kid wants to look at pictures of naked women while in the company of his mother and Grandmother.
We paused once we were clear of the nudity to kinda gather our thoughts. None of us realized that we’d be faced with that on Bourbon Street. I mean…damn. Two blocks away were families shopping…it was a strange separation of worlds. But, because we’re not uptight or conservative, I actually found the entire situation kinda hilarious. I had just walked my family down Bourbon Street. I had practically taken my son to his first strip club. At age 11. While carrying his 1-year old sister in my arms. LilZ could barely speak he was so embarassed. But he appreciated the humor of it as well simply saying, “Will you give me more warning next time?”
MrZ, of course, kinda had the best idea what to expect on Bourbon Street when he simply said, “Hey – we could have seen guys walking around wearing only assless chaps – consider yourself lucky.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for naked people. I truly appreciate nudity in art and try not to act like that is anything to be ashamed of seeing when we stumble upon it in museums or bookstores. But the photos on the strip club? Kinda not the same thing as that 18th century oil painting we saw at that exhibit a while back. Of course – more power to those who like to show their bits outside of their own home! I’m not one of them, but if you are? Go for it! Be free! Be naked! I just kinda don’t want to experience that type of situation while hanging with my MIL, my 17-year old SIL, my 11-year old son and my toddler daughter in my arms.
So. Next time I go to Bourbon Street? I’m either leaving my kids at home, or I’m finding a block or two that may be a tad bit more…um…PG.