unlikely cousins: miss missy and la louisiane

I have a niece. She’s 4 and some change, and she can’t pronounce the state where I live. She calls it Miss Missy. I’m good with that. I haven’t asked her to pronounce the name of our neighboring state to the west, but I prefer La Louisiane. Beautiful, yes?

But I digress. Let’s get to it: The unlikely bond of Mississippi and Louisiana. They’re like two unlikely cousins at a wedding. Here’s a visual:

Source: Suong Photography via Flickr

Can you tell who is Mississippi and who is Louisiana? I totally can. Miss Missy is the lady on the left wearing a fuchsia top. Serious, prim. La Louisiane is the gentleman who’s ready to toss back his drink. Outgoing, social to his detriment, perhaps, and garrulous.

Mississippi and Louisiana are like two unlikely cousins. Related but so freaking different. I rented an Airbnb in the #Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans earlier this year to do some exploring and have dinner with my friend Brei Delahoussaye. I love New Orleans so much. I’d love to live there someday. It’s an exquisite city.

But again, I digress. I was walking around the Garden District, getting some shopping done. It was a Saturday afternoon, maybe 2 p.m. There were two older women walking ahead of me, or attempting to walk. They had open beers in hand. Talking loudly. They were tanked.

I don’t drink anymore. I got off the broomstick (gave up drinking) last September, and I’m totally at peace with the fact that I’ll never drink again. It made me feel so witchy (hence the broomstick analogy). But as a Mississippian by way of Chicago, I couldn’t help but guffaw at the two ladies in front of me with open containers. WTH. Then I remembered, New Orleans allows open containers. No big, as in deal.

That’s when it occurred to me how different Miss Missy and La Louisiane are, even though we’re neighbors. Cousins/les cousins. Mississippi is a state of counties, churches (predominantly Baptist), and teetotalers. Bible Belt stuff. Louisiana is a state of parishes, churches (some very beautiful Catholic ones), and bars. Don’t get me wrong. Louisiana is much more than bars and drinking. It’s just what struck me on that Saturday.