Men can be sensitive and emotional without having to surrender their man card. I am totally secure in that part of my own personality. I am just as much 'cave man' as the next guy but it's usually subtle. I choose to show more of the sensitive side. Maybe that's a mistake. Tough shit.
All that is prelude to this: Sometimes I get emotional when I visit New Orleans during the holidays. I was pretty cocky when I left this place decades ago. I knew there was so much more world to see, experiences to live, people to meet and things to learn. I was right. People here can be so narrow-minded and isolated from the real world.
Something I have learned since, however, is that people here instinctively know things others from elsewhere don't know. For example, having a good time is just part of the local DNA. Dancing to music in the street while holding a drink you walked out of a bar with. (bad grammar is part of life here too, by the way).
Acceptance is another one. People here accept flooded streets, corrupt politicians, humidity and mosquitos. New Orleans is in the Central Time Zone but there is an accepted yet unspoken thing you could call New Orleans Time. If you have a 2 pm meeting, don't assume it will start at 2. It might. It might not. And it may seem that people are lazy and slow and not getting anything done ... till you wake up one day and see how much they did.
I don't really miss this quirkiness all that much in my present life but when I'm here It all floods back into my psyche. That sometimes produces an emotional reaction. Yeah yeah yeah, sensitive schmensitive.
Some of the emotional reaction likely comes from a disconnect between my present and my past. My life could have been very predictable and stable had I stayed here; it was moving in that direction till the end of high school. My adult life proved to be very unpredictable.
My present life is pretty exciting and sometimes I don't realize it till somebody else points it out. You get what you focus on and my goal is to focus on the positive. Allowing myself some emotion when I'm here ultimately results in my acceptance of the influence this place had and has on me. I left New Orleans but it hasn't left me. That's a good emotion. Shedding a tear when I hear the song in this post is a good thing.
I love to share New Orleans. Friends who read this, be prepared. One day you will visit here with me and see this place through my eyes. It will be one of your life's most memorable adventures. I'll try not to get too emotional.