Since the hurricane I've had a hard time adjusting to the fact that I no longer live in New Orleans. I pause when people ask me where I'm from; do they mean where do I currently live, or do they know I'm not local and want to know where I came from? The past few times I've been asked this question I just stood there with my mouth open, puddle of drool gathering around my feet. People assumed I was from Mississippi, based on that puddle of drool and my inability to answer a simple question.
I've slowly started to accept that in certain ways California is home. I voted here, I've got a CA driver's license, and I drive a yuppie car. I'm very Californian in those aspects.
But in other ways I'm having trouble becoming Californian. Whenever jparks mentions buying a house here, I clam up and won't even discuss it with him. I think that some part of me isn't ready to own property in this ridiculously over-priced area. Or maybe it's just that as long as we don't own property here we can leave at any time; head back to a land below sea level where I feel more comfortable.
Right now we think nothing of heading back to NOLA for the holidays. But once we have kids, flying halfway across the country will no longer be an easy feat and holidays will have to be spent here. But without Celebration in the Oaks, Cajun Night Before Christmas, and Benny Grunch and the Bunch I'm not sure how the holidays will ever feel right.
And at what point in time do I need to stop feeling like it's my right to have time off of work for Mardi Gras? When will I stop feeling like something is not right if once a year I don't stand in the middle of a street with a beer in one hand, cold Popeye's chicken in the other, and yell at men on floats to throw me some long beads?
I guess what I'm wondering is how long do you have to be gone from a place before you stop thinking of it as home? I need to know so that just a day before I hit that amount of time I can move back to NOLA.