Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Tony and I celebrated our 5th anniversary last month. We actually went out to dinner and saw a movie. The dinner was really good (Montague Inn); the movie was okay (The Da Vinci Code). I was hoping to see this movie, or this one. But apparently our choices are somewhat limited here. We will now enter our next movie theater hibernation. Hopefully this one won’t last as long.

Last month also marks another anniversary. It has been one year since we moved back from New Orleans. We’ve now been here as long as we were there. As most people know, I had a hard time adjusting, but I ended up really liking it there. I’ve surely romanticized many things, but I have this nostalgia for the place where Joseph was born, the place where we could walk almost everywhere, the place where shop owners were starting to get to know us, and the place where I could get some of the best food I’ve ever had. I can remember the last couple of weeks, looking carefully at everything, trying as hard as I could to memorize the details, knowing how my visual memory always ends up failing me. On my walks with Joseph, I tried to take pictures, but there really can’t be enough pictures. Joseph and I walked A LOT. I tried to show him everything, wishing he’d be able to remember something, but knowing there was know way that he would.

Tony and I talked about how we would visit often, maybe within a few years so that Joseph could see where he was born and enjoy some of the things we also enjoyed. Who knows, perhaps it will still happen, maybe just not as soon as we imagined. The hospital where Joseph was born does not exist in the way that it did a year and a half ago, and although there was some positive talk about rebuilding, it still won’t be the same. Our doctors seem to be gone. I wonder if the shop owners that got to know us from the time I was pregnant are still around.

Immediately after the hurricane, I became somewhat depressed. I only felt worse for feeling so upset, because we only lived there for such a short time. I didn’t have the right to be as sad as people who actually lived there and lost everything. When people would find out that we had recently moved from New Orleans, they would almost always say, “You got out of there just in time, didn’t you?” Or, “I bet you’re glad you got out of there, huh?” I’d say, “sure.” But the truth was that I wanted to be there. I wanted New Orleans—the hurricanes, the humidity, the bugs, the drunks, and all. I felt like a tourist. I feel like a tourist. That’s really all I can be now.

Many people around here have now even forgotten about the hurricane (My doctor was confused about why I was having trouble getting my medical records from Joseph’s birth). And those that haven’t forgotten about it are extremely opinionated about New Orleans politics. All of a sudden everyone feels they are experts on how to run a city with problems much deeper than a hurricane. They all want to vote for a mayor in a city where they don’t (and won’t) live only after hearing a few news clips.

So now here we are, back in Michigan. This could be the place where Joseph grows up. It’s not New Orleans, but it may end up being great in other ways. I’m not sure that I’d rather be anywhere else really. Where else would we have been able to see a movie and go out to dinner for our fifth anniversary? And who knows, maybe we’ll be able to do it again for our tenth.


Anonymous guh! said...

Amazing how time has flown! It’s the truth, life is full of compromise and hard choices. Most of us yearn for a job that meets our needs, in an interesting place near the people we love, and most of us settle for less than the whole. And so it makes sense that you are happy for some things you have here that weren’t in Louisiana, and miss some things from there that aren’t here.

I guess the flip side of happy times, the ‘price’ we pay, is always the sadness and nostalgia of missing them later. You and Tony had a wonderful adventure in New Orleans. On top of the cool shops and good food, you learned that you could make a warm and happy home far away from your traditional support systems, in a culture that was entirely new to you. Obviously, New Orleans was amazing to be in. But I suspect that much of what made it so wonderful for you was the warmth and openness you brought to it, and I predict that those same qualities will bring you memorable experiences wherever you go. I believe that you and Tony (and Joseph and the upcoming baby girl) will share many more wonderful adventures in your life together. (and trust me, you can count on a babysitter whenever you’re ready for that next dinner-movie date, no matter where you live!) Happy anniversaries.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Autumn said...

i didn't know you lived in new orleans. my brother visits there every year and just went back about two months ago. i unfortunately have never had the chance to visit, yet. it's weird to me that people forget, but i guess we're all guilty of that for different things.

i enjoyed your photos and by the way, happy anniversary :)

12:32 PM  

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