I’m not going to lie and say that July is my favorite month to be in New Orleans. It’s not, and neither is August. Both months are appallingly hot, disgustingly humid and bring the heightened threat of hurricanes. There’s one good thing about July for me, though, and that’s my wedding anniversary. We got married on the Fourth of July, figuring, “Hey, we’ll always have the day off, and we’ll get fireworks every year.” As we celebrate five years of wedded bliss this month, I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage and compromise.
Since I moved home in January, I’ve been asked repeatedly, “Are you happy to be back?” And I always grin like a moron; I’m so happy to be back that it borders on ridiculous. The follow-up question, though, is invariably, “And how’s your husband liking it?” And that usually makes my grin fade just a little.
He likes it well enough here, I guess, but Jamie’s such a practical Midwestern guy that there are just so many things he finds nonsensical. In my blind and perhaps even foolish love for this city, I overlook a lot of flaws: When I drive down my pothole-riddled street, I think fondly, “Aww, New Orleans is so quirky. Streets just aren’t like this anywhere else.” When Jamie drives down it, he thinks peevishly, “Why don’t they fix the damn streets around here? Streets just aren’t like this anywhere else.”
Marriage being what it is, though, he doesn’t complain too much, not even about the heat. He knows I’m a New Orleans girl in my very bones and that as such, I wouldn’t be –– couldn’t be –– happy anywhere else. He just orders a large blueberry snowball, cranks up the air conditioning and drives around the potholes.
That spirit of marital compromise flows through both of our featured homes this month. At the home of Alvin and Melanie Bordelon, who have been married for 10 years, her love of antiques mingles seamlessly with his love of art. And though it’s safe to say that fishing isn’t really the elegant Mrs. Bordelon’s cup of tea, she lovingly framed pictures of native Louisiana fish to hang all around the keeping room in a nod to her husband’s favorite pastime.
In the Dendys’ home, Michael’s irreverent humor weaves its way into Cheryl’s classic style with his addition of a few offbeat accents to the décor. The Dendys, married for 29 years, are a fun and harmonious couple, an accomplishment made even more impressive by the fact that they not only live together but also work together.
As we muddle through the dog days of summer, it can be easy to forget why we live here. The answer, though, for many of us, is that we’ve taken a vow with this city, for better or for worse, in sunny days and hurricanes, in crime waves and heat waves and waves of joy.
So as July rolls in, order a large blueberry snowball, crank up the air conditioning and drive around the potholes. And count the days ‘til September.
Noteworthy Home and Garden
On July 12 from 9 a.m. to noon, City Park is holding its monthly Super Saturday Volunteer Work Day. Those interested should meet in front of Storyland to receive work assignments and tools. Work may include pruning, raking, cutting grass, picking up trash and planting. Bring your own garden gloves, sunscreen and insect repellent, and bring yard tools if you have them. For more information, contact Jim Morrison at 483-9459. On July 19 from 10 a.m. to noon, everyone is invited to come eat worms and dirt at Longue Vue House & Garden’s Annual Ice Cream Day –– gummy worms, chocolate dirt and flower sprinkles on top of a delicious ice cream sundae! You also can make crafts, explore the maze of fragrant herbs or play old-fashioned lawn games. The cost is $5 for members and $7 for nonmembers. For more information, contact Jen Gick at 488-5488, extension 320.