The fairy tale courtship and wedding

Trip Start Oct 11, 2007
Trip End Nov 11, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Connecticut
Sunday, September 9, 2007

what a dream come true! everything about the wedding seemed to just work out like magic. the best part was that the bride and groom didn't seem that stressed about anything. sure there were aggravations before the wedding (like the location not having a bathroom) but julia managed to pull off a miracle. all the guests were basking in their hard work. and all those little setbacks somehow all fused together to create the best wedding i've been to in my life.

because of the special circumstances behind how julia and i met, i drew almost as much attention as the blushing bride and groom. (without knowing anything about me, julia had offered me a place to stay in boston right after katrina. i ended up living with her for six months and now consider her to be a mother figure in my life.) everyone wanted to know what the situation is like in new orleans and how my friends and family are dealing with everything.

i wish i had better news, but i'm proud of how far my social network has come. it's been two long years. two years where we've been forgotten by the national government. two years where we've been portrayed by the national media as deserving everything that god has thrown at us. our mayor's a joke; our elections are a disgrace; and our levees can't even protect us against our typical may thunderstorms.

without getting into the politics of the situation (because i'd be sitting on this computer for another couple of years), it was nice to hear normal people talk about the shangri-la of modern america. because for the past two years, i have been living in america. the land of the golden mountains. the land of opportunity. in boston, i'd been living the american dream. there, my college degree opened up doors, and my personality kept those doors open. in new orleans, those doors never existed.
like any typical third-world place.

is it because our glory days were 150 years in the past? when the best that our city could hope for were built and created on the backs of people that didn't want to be there in the first place? but unlike the rest of america, our slaves had a chance to be free. for better or worse, our slaves had a chance to live like our whites: poor and broke but at least proud of everything they've earned with their hands. and unlike the rest of america, we don't forget about that part of our past. or hide from it.

and it is that pride and very unique history that must be preserved. it is the soul of new orleans that i tried to tell those curious guests. i tried to convey how different life really is in new orleans. how we no longer take anything for granted- especially the kindness of strangers. sometimes, i thank my lucky stars that i lost everything. because if i didn't, i never would have gained my faith in humanity. what are possessions when you now have purpose in life? why do you want to surround yourself with things again when you can surround yourself with laughter and memories?

in many ways, i felt like i was stuck in a rut when katrina came and destroyed my life. but in its place, i've found a new life- a life of quality, not quantity. and i've finally learned how to let go.
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