Monday, April 20, 2009

Laissez bon temps roullez!

If your blog title is Nola Girl, I think you're bound by New Orleans code to title your first post Laissez bon temps roullez! In a short introduction, I am a girl from New Orleans living in wonderful Beaufort while we finish the last 18 months of the most amazing experience in the US Navy. While it has taken us away from the very place I thought I'd never leave, it has brought us so many things in return. Of all of the things Beaufort has given us, the thing I am most grateful for is of course our friends, who are really our second family.

But while our life here is filled with all the happiness we could ever ask for, it's hard not to miss New Orleans. With all of its faults, it is the place I long to be. Oak tree lined avenues, trumpets playing on a street corner, boiled crawfish spread on a table, family all around you - there is simply no place like it in the world. Without spending time there, I can't imagine how odd it must seem to meet a girl like me who considers this place so much of my identity. But I swear I'm not the only one! There really is no better description of the people from New Orleans than the one Chris Rose gave immediately following Katrina. It sums us up perfectly and completely - so with that, I'll leave it to Mr. Rose to introduce every girl who considers herself a Nola Girl -

From columnist Chris Rose of The Times-Picayune
Dear America,
I suppose we should introduce ourselves: We’re South Louisiana.
We have arrived on your doorstep on short notice and we apologize for that, but we never were much for waiting around for invitations. We’re not much on formalities like that.
And we might be staying around your town for a while, enrolling in your schools and looking for jobs, so we wanted to tell you a few things about us. We know you didn’t ask for this and neither did we, so we’re just going to have to make the best of it.
First of all, we thank you. For your money, your water, your food, your prayers, your boats and buses and the men and women of your National Guards, fire departments, hospitals and everyone else who has come to our rescue.
We’re a fiercely proud and independent people, and we don’t cotton much to outside interference, but we’re not ashamed to accept help when we need it. And right now, we need it.
Just don’t get carried away. For instance, once we get around to fishing again, don’t try to tell us what kind of lures work best in your waters.
We’re not going to listen. We’re stubborn that way.
You probably already know that we talk funny and listen to strange music and eat things you’d probably hire an exterminator to get out of your yard.
We dance even if there’s no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we’re suspicious of others who don’t.
But we’ll try not to judge you while we’re in your town.
Everybody loves their home, we know that. But we love South Louisiana with a ferocity that borders on the pathological. Sometimes we bury our dead in LSU sweatshirts.
Often we don’t make sense. You may wonder why, for instance - if we could only carry one small bag of belongings with us on our journey to your state - why in God’s name did we bring a pair of shrimp boots?
We can’t really explain that. It is what it is.
You’ve probably heard that many of us stayed behind. As bad as it is, many of us cannot fathom a life outside of our border, out in that place we call Elsewhere.
The only way you could understand that is if you have been there, and so many of you have. So you realize that when you strip away all the craziness and bars and parades and music and architecture and all that hooey, really, the best thing about where we come from is us.
We are what made this place a national treasure. We’re good people. And don’t be afraid to ask us how to pronounce our names. It happens all the time.
When you meet us now and you look into our eyes, you will see the saddest story ever told. Our hearts are broken into a thousand pieces.
But don’t pity us. We’re gonna make it. We’re resilient. After all, we’ve been rooting for the Saints for 35 years. That’s got to count for something.
OK, maybe something else you should know is that we make jokes at inappropriate times.
But what the hell.
And one more thing: In our part of the country, we’re used to having visitors. It’s our way of life.
So when all this is over and we move back home, we will repay to you the hospitality and generosity of spirit you offer to us in this season of our despair.
That is our promise. That is our faith

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy to see another NOLA blogger! Thanks for listing me in your blogroll.




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