Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

This goes for everyone: Don’t be a bad out-of-town guest.

People have varying opinions about what makes for a bad out-of-town guest.

Some say it's someone who doesn’t have your same lifestyle and wants to go to Bourbon Street when you want to go to a coffee shop. Or the opposite, someone who wants to read when you want to party.

Others say it's annoying having guests who are agenda-heavy and have to do, like, a million things in two days.

In my opinion, there's one thing you should always avoid as an out-of-town guest...one I think everyone can agree on: Don’t shit all over the city you’re visiting. (Figuratively. Gross.)

...Especially if it’s your girlfriend’s hometown. And the city you're visiting is NEW ORLEANS.

This makes you a tool twice. Because New Orleans is amazing. And I’m not just saying that because it’s been Mardi Gras for the past 10 days (uh, sorry about not posting yesterday, it was Fat Tuesday and I was getting drunk on a parade float.)

I’m saying it's amazing because it’s always warm, bursting with color, culture and characters, and the music is incredible.

(A co-worker of mine visited his girlfriend’s family for Christmas....in Iowa. Holy peacoat!!! That wouldn’t be fun.)

But New Orleans is fun. Not for Henry, though, this guy who dated my friend, Jill. He complained about everything for the entire four days he visited from Florida.

Jill was from New Orleans but lived in Florida. She and Henry dated for a year and Jill invited him to come home with her one year for Thanksgiving.

Now, you’d think that if you visit your significant other’s hometown during a holiday, you’d put on your big boy pants and be on your best behavior. No.

The entire time Henry visited (every time I saw him, anyway) he used the line: “I didn’t come all the way to New Orleans to ___________”

It’s a fill in the blank.
...and in the blank was WHATEVER WE WERE DOING.

“I didn’t come all the way to New Orleans to go to a bar with a couch in it!” he declared at 4 a.m. at one of my favorite neighborhood bars.

I told Henry that being out at 4 a.m. and being able to order a beer was something he could not do in Florida, where they stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m.

He didn’t find the marvel in that.

“I didn’t come all the way to New Orleans to wait in a line for a hamburger!”
he said a few days later when we TOLD HIM THE LINE IS ALWAYS STUPID LONG but he insisted on going to that exact place.

“I didn’t come all the way to New Orleans to DRIVE by the Superdome!”
he said, looking out the window longingly from the car on the interstate.

Jill said that people usually don’t walk around the Superdome when there’s not a football game and that we were meeting her friends at her favorite bar uptown, and that will be fun, right???? but still…Henry's view of the Superdome from the car was unacceptable.
I think he crossed his arms.

The pain-in-the-ass attitude really got to me after his assessment of music on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans. Frenchmen Street is, in my opinion, the best place in the city to hear live music.

It's got a variety of places to go, many of them have no cover charges and you're guaranteed to hear some brass music. We had just finished watching someone amazing at a bar (LIVE MUSIC HENRY!!! LISTEN!!!) and on his way out of the bar, we asked him what he thought.

“I don’t know…”
he said. “I just don’t feel like music in New Orleans has any soul.”

Insert voice of Wayne Campbell from Waynes World: EXSQUEEZE ME? BAKING POWDER?"

Soul??? SOUL???!!! Did he really just say that music in New Orleans has no soul???

If any music has soul it’s New Orleans music! We disagreed with him and didn't talk until I got dropped off.

Jill was so annoyed with Henry at the end of the four-day trip she wanted to clobber him.

She was stressed out that he wasn’t enjoying her hometown and her parents also felt bad that he didn't like it, which stressed Jill out even more.

Because when HER PARENTS, NEW ORLEANS NATIVES, asked him how he liked the city, Henry didn’t even put on a happy face.
("Eh…It’s OK, other than the fact that the MUSIC HAS NO SOUL. Good hamburgers though.")

Ugh.

I mean, you want your significant other to love your hometown if you love it. Jill said she thought about what if they got married one day and she wanted to move back home?

Henry’s attitude hurt her feelings.

As it turns out, the New Orleans trip was very indicative about Henry’s attitude in general, and they broke up a few months later.

Jill said she had never noticed it before, but it became crystal clear after the trip.

The silver lining is that Jill and I still use Henry’s line when she comes back to visit.

Whatever we're doing, we say, “I DIDN’T COME ALL THE WAY TO NEW ORLEANS TO _________”
And then crack up.

And then check the music listings.

-Jenny

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