For weeks now, Roommate has been urging me to write more about Derby and non-Derby events for the out-of-towners coming to Louisville for the race. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll get around to it," I kept saying.
Is anyone else out there totally not "ready" for Derby? "Ready" is in quotes because honestly, I don't really do anything to prepare. No new Derby hat for me-- I have a couple of stand-bys to choose from. No Derby party to throw or attend-- although I have a couple I could go to, but I won't this year. I looked for a Derby dress this weekend at the mall, to no avail. No biggie.
Derby prep for me basically entails getting up earlier than usual on Derby morning, fussing over which sundress to throw on, hopping in the car and driving the long way to Churchill to avoid traffic, parking in front of a friends' house six blocks away, and dropping $40 on a General Admission ticket. I don't do the infield on Derby (I do on Oaks). I hang by the paddock, people and horsey watch, and catch the race on the paddock jumbotron.
At Oaks & Derby, I normally imbibe one alcoholic beverage-- a Filly on Oaks and a Julep on Derby-- just so I can keep the glass. I long ago learned that alcohol, Lou, and crowds are a terrible mix.
I have never been to a Derby without sorely (pun intended) regretting my shoe choice. I don't think I have been to a Derby where my butt hit a seat at any point during the six or so hour event. Yet for some reason, I choose cute over comfortable every year and have been unfailingly driven to near-weepiness over blisters and pinched toes. Will I remember this when I dress on Derby morning? Probably? Will I go for comfort over cute? Probably not.
Why am I not in Derby mode? Maybe because the weather has been so lousy of late. Maybe because the weather has been lousy enough that I haven't felt like making a mint julep. Maybe because I'm normally somewhat up on the horses running, and this year I'm fricking clueless.
Are you ready for Derby?