If one can have a crush on a region, I definitely have a crush on the greater New Orleans/North Shore region. I realize that New Orleans has more crime than any other city in the U.S. except maybe Detroit or L.A. but I don't actually want to live in New Orleans. I want to live in Mandeville or Covington - across the Causeway on the north side of Lake Pontchatrain. My lovely Southern husband who knows the South much better than I do keeps on trying to convince me that I don't want to live in Louisiana. But he has not managed to convince me. I love the food, I love the crazy humid weather, I love the sun, I love the architecture, I love the accents, I love the friendly people and the freaky way they just blurt out what they believe without any concept of being "politically correct". And I love JP's extended family. I love swamps and gators and bayous and that the normal deli foods at Whole Foods is ettoufee and shrimp scampy and gumbo. And you can get hot red pepper at any grocery store.
Needless to say I'm going through a little heartsickness that we're not going to New Orleans for Thanksgiving again this year. I don't know what we're doing for Thanksgiving this year. I asked my husband what he wanted to do and all he said was "Eat." I'm toying with asking some of my relatives I would like to be more in contact with, but I'm not sure my husband is up for a houseful of my redneck relatives. He for instance, is not as impressed with my uncle's drawer full of guns and me and my daughter are.
We just got back from the "Fall Carnival" at my daughter's elementary school. It's actually a Halloween carnival but I think the school district doesn't let anyone call it that because holidays are not allowed in school. It is fun and this evening was a reminder of just how much I like the staff and teachers that I know and how many parents I like. But it gets so crowded and no matter how much I try to keep a calm, centered attitude, crowds always sap my physical energy really quickly.
Speaking of things not allowed in school, there is an afterschool Bible study group at our school apparently. I did not think those were allowed either. I actually have no problem with that and think it'd be cool to have study groups for a variety of religions, but I also was surprised it is allowed for any religion. One of the parents was asking if I thought my daughter would want to go because her daughter wanted to ask her but the mom wanted to check with me first to make sure it wouldn't offend me. I said it was up to my daughter whether or not she wanted to go and said I didn't know those kind of groups were allowed. The other mom said she's pretty sure that any group would be allowed, even - then she paused and said, "What would be the opposite group? Like a Satanist group. Or actually I guess more realistically and athiest group." My socially inept neighbor was standing next to us and said, "Yes, the athiest group - the group for critical thinking," and for some reason that just flipped a switch in my head and I got so angry I couldn't stop myself before snapping, "Oh, so only athiests are critical thinkers?"
Now I know that if someone makes a closed-minded blanket comment about how one group of people is superior to another, it is best just to let it float on by and just be information that this person is clueless. But since socially-inept neighbor knocks on my door twice a day to walk the kids to and from school, I realize we are on that edge of being friends even though something always holds me back a little from actually being friends. I have been trying but little things have been annoying but I just totally lost my shit over that comment. So, after I said that the neighbor just put her nose up in the air and said, "Hmmph," and I snapped, "So, I am incapable of critical thought because I believe in God? What's so fucking scientific about that reasoning? How open minded is that reasoning?" and my neighbor just continued to stand there with her nose in the air and I said, "I'm leaving! I am really offended!" and stomped off. After she caught up with me she said defensively, "I just don't want anyone shoving their religion down my throat," and I said, "Well, I don't want anyone shoving down my throat their idea that I'm a fool and can't think rationally just because I believe in God." So irritating. I am so tired of people who are not very well educated acting like they are intellectually superior to me just because I happen to like to believe in God.