There’s Something to Say for Going Astray – by Corinne Vance

Rick Annen, Bryan Fikes, Corinne Vance at Red's Lounge in Clarksdale

Rick Annen, Bryan Fikes, Corinne Vance at Red’s Lounge in Clarksdale. Photo by DELTA BOHEMIAN

Young & Free Columnist

(includes photo gallery)

It’s more than easy to get caught in the routine of doing the same thing over and over again. As human beings we are naturally creatures of habit. I have begun to notice that this is especially true in the case of making plans to go out.

Being a Student at Ole Miss, the nightlife in Oxford is very present. Most students find a way to muster up enough energy every weekend to make it to the bars on the square. Freshman year I was most definitely part of the herd closing down the square Thursday through Saturday, but as I have gotten older and gotten a job, bar hopping has been pushed to the back of the line in my priority list.

Until this past weekend, I have attributed my “pjs at 10:00 pm” ways to growing up and having more responsibilities, but there is another key factor I have forgotten. After a while…doing the same thing over and over again gets old.

When I was going out every weekend, it was always with the same people and when we got to the bar we saw the same people with whom we had the same conversations as the weekend before. That sounds miserable, right? But, when you’re in the middle of it, it’s easy. It’s free from worry…but it’s also free from excitement and new experiences.

This past weekend in Clarksdale was the Juke Joint Festival. I don’t think I have ever missed a Saturday of walking around with friends to all the different booths followed by a night at Ground Zero, with the same people of course. But this year, I did things a little differently. My boyfriend and I had the chance to make it for the Saturday night party, but we opted to wait and go out Sunday. And I’m sure glad we did.


  • Mississippi Picnic in Central Park 33rd
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All the bars are still jukin’ it up on Sunday nights of the festival weekends, but by then most Clarksdale natives have hung up their hats for another year. Sunday night of Juke Joint Fest 2013 my boyfriend, Bryan, my mom, and I decided to go to Red’s Lounge, with no investigation as to who would be there when we arrived. And at Red’s, it could be anyone.

The place was packed, but not with familiar faces. We were greeted by people who were doing the same thing we were, looking for a good time and doing something a little different and out of the box.

I had more fun Sunday night than I ever would have imagined. I danced by myself, I danced with Bryan, I met new people (having a different, and interesting, conversation every time), I laughed, and I never felt the pressure of having to have continuous conversations with the people I came with. Nothing was holding me back from being myself and having a good time.

I’m not saying to forget your friends, but there’s something to say for going astray and experiencing something new in a place you don’t always go. Find out who you are without your friends, somewhere that doesn’t care if you want to dance like no ones watching.

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