I am still seething and I cannot sleep, so I will post a question to New Orleans people and then I will sleep.
Situation: I take a new friend — friend of a better friend — with me to my usual place in N.O., to go to a certain parade.
She — Whiteman One in an earlier post — extracts from her suitcase an amazing amount of drink paraphernalia, including a whole blender, and puts it in the kitchen where the hosts normally cook their dinner and our breakfast. I think, ahem, are we really supposed to drink all of that here? but mostly I think ahem, ahem, she has taken up a very great deal of counter space, and what she apparently plans to do will make a fair amount of noise rather near someone else’s bedroom.
The evening was fun and you have to realize Mardi Gras is a drinking atmosphere, so I did not really notice anything odd except how strangely tired I was by the time Whiteman One left. It was as though I had been run over by an emotional train and I could not think what had happened to drain me so.
Fast forward to now, when I realize Whiteman One is an alcoholic and that it was that atmosphere which had created the chaotic atmosphere and left the drained feeling.
So I am trying to get a reality check from Whiteman Two and this scene from the past came up as a chance I had had, and missed, to interpret certain signs.
Whiteman Two alleges that it is normal to bring that much paraphernalia to a house in New Orleans. I counter, to a known house, a house known to be a party house, but not to hosts you’re not close to — it is rude to take over space like that in any case, and disconcerting to show that you have paraphernalia to create mayhem.
Whiteman Two says that it was fine, because surely Whiteman One was planning to make drinks for everyone. I counter that this house is not party central and I had never indicated that it was, and that it was in any case a Muslim household. They’re fine with you uncorking a bottle of wine on the porch, but they are not interested in drinking your Margaritas.
Whiteman Two says I was out of line for not having warned Whiteman One that it was a Muslim household and that she should not bring all those drinks.
So, New Orleans people, after all these years, is there something I don’t know? Is it not poor behavior to expect to turn the kitchen of a respectable B&B into Party Central? Should I have known Whiteman One would expect to do this — because in New Orleans it is normal to do this?
I, as you can tell, think it is presumptuous. My mother said you were supposed to respect other peoples’ houses and be circumspect in them, and Cristina says a Latin home is a place of respect, and if you engage in mayhem you should at least not do it at home. I am Latin and I agree with my mother and Cristina, and I lived in New Orleans for many years and I know there are some circumstances where it is normal, even appreciated, to bring a blender and a lot of drinking paraphernalia to someone else’s house. I do not think this was one such.
What burns me is the disregard for my main point and the manipulation on a minor one: Oh, the problem is that they are Muslims, so the problem is me — I should have warned Whiteman One that it was a Muslim household. It does not matter that I thought her behavior and apparent plan was not entirely kosher, not entirely Catholic (as we say, from religion to religion, of things that are not quite right, not entirely correct).
Now I believe I have finally said enough. I will rebel and resist by turning to more fruitful matters. What did I learn: do not be pushed. What am I grateful for: that my other guest was also scandalized by the events of today and yesterday. I could have been alone when these things happened, in which case I could have been convinced I should be more “tolerant.”