Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NOLA pride

If you are at the home of someone from New Orleans, chances are you will see at least one Fleur de lis on display.

This is not (entirely) because of the Saints’ Superbowl win. New Orleans natives like to show off their NOLA pride whenever they can. When you love something, you show it. I’m surprised I don’t have a framed picture of Drew Brees by my bed.

For one thing, we’re an excessive culture, and overdo everything. It's not just one modest New Orleans T-shirt; it's a hat, a sweatshirt, a bag, a tie, a bumper sticker, a bottle opener, bedroom slippers and a watch.

It also helps that the Fleur de lis is super cute and looks good on everything: Jewelry, flags, posters, glasses, belt buckles, cufflinks, dog collars.
It's a city-wide staple, like red beans and rice on Mondays.

Even though my twin sister, Joy, and I live in South Carolina, our New Orleans pride still remains intact.
You can see two Fleur de lis emblems before you even walk into our house — one on a garden flag in the front yard and another on a WHO DAT flag, still hanging on the front door.

Inside, you will see an iron Fleur de lis in the front room, a Fleur de lis mirror, a Fleur de lis stand next to the TV and two Jazz Fest posters framed and hanging on the wall.

In the kitchen, we have a Fleur de lis pot holder, Fleur de lis glasses, a photo of crawfish spread out on Times Picayune newspaper, a brass band in the CD player and a picture of us with a superimposed Drew Brees on the fridge.

**(For the true New Orleanians: we also have K&B coasters, refrigerator magnets of both McKenzie’s and Venezia's, a Michalopolous print, a New Orleans Water Meter doormat and a T-shirt that says “Makin’ groceries").

And that’s not counting the LSU paraphernalia — coasters, pitchers, flags and a door mat leading to the porch. (Go Tygas!!!)

Whenever I’m away from New Orleans for a long period of time, I forget how commonplace showing NOLA pride is.
I’ll come back to the city and get all excited when I see someone with a Saints jersey, forgetting that everyone in New Orleans has a Saints jersey.

In South Carolina, when I see a New Orleans shirt or Louisiana license plate, I freak out and run over and make small talk, wave wildly or give a thumbs up sign, depending on the circumstance.

“Who Dat!!!!!” I’ll yell, which usually does the trick. It makes me feel like I’m a part of a special New Orleans club. (Hey, I’ve got an LSU hat, too!! Let’s be friends!!)

When Joy and I went to visit her married college friends (Go Tygas!!!) in Tampa, Florida on New Years, I was delighted to see all the New Orleans touches throughout the house: NOLA paintings, Fleur de lis symbols on plates, napkins, photo albums. Their dog is even named Gumbo for crying out loud.

When I heard that they got engaged after he put the ring inside a piece of king cake during Mardi Gras, I thought it was the most romantic thing I’d ever heard.

I went to our town's annual Cajun Festival this past weekend, which made me dreadfully homesick.
For one thing, there was drinking….in public….outdoors.
(If I were president, the first thing I’d do is make open containers legal everywhere. It immediately lightens up the mood).

It was easy to spot the Louisiana natives at the Cajun festival: they were the ones huddled under an LSU tent draped in Mardi Gras beads. The ones that were dancing in the rain and wearing shirts that said “Make Levees Not War.” (True dat!!)

They also weren’t afraid to dive right into the boiled crawfish.
Have you ever had crawfish? Not many people in this part of the country have. They even call it crayfish, that silly bunch. I tell them it’s like spicy shrimp.

I often wonder if my New Orleans pride will subside once I eventually move back to the city.

I know that when I do move back, I’ll have to tell myself that everyone in the city wears New Orleans clothing and, no, that is not an open invitation to talk about where they went to high school, what year they graduated and if they know so-and-so.

But, would I still deck out my house with New Orleans emblems and posters? Will the WHO DAT flag make it? Would I still wear Fleur de lis's on my shirt??

You bet ya mamma and dem!!!!


1 comment:

  1. This is just FABULOUS... certainly made my morning at jury duty better!


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