Monday, July 5, 2010

Fat Harry's Full Circle (Shop Local Day 5)

A few days ago I met Hubby for Happy Hour at a local high school bar called Fat Harry's. Yes, I said "high school bar." For those not familiar with this phenomenon, New Orleans was late to implement the 21 year old drinking age and it was pretty normal for 16 year olds to frequent drinking establishment brandishing 18 year old fake IDs. Now, seeing as I am far from my high school days, I can't say that this type of behavior is still prevalent...but nonetheless, Fat Harry's remains in my brain a "high school bar."

In fact, it was my high school bar. It was the last stop before curfew on our regular crawl. So, sitting outside on a balmy summer evening, sipping a beer and watching the streetcars roll down St. Charles, I was suddenly struck by a strong sense of nostalgia. I texted my high school partner in crime in North Carolina. To which she replied with horror "WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE?" She proceeded to ask if there were white hats and khaki shorts...the ultimate frat boy uniform. I looked around and there was not a single white hat. But what should I spy? A pair of khaki shorts. Sitting next to me. On Hubby.

Gasp. Had I made the transformation from high school delinquent to Uptown yuppie? Was I that sweet doddering couple that I used to see with their AARP friends sitting outside the bar before sunset?

And there it is. That weird moment, having moved back to my hometown, where my past self meets my future self on the same stomping grounds, when I am suddenly slapped in the face by my 16 year old assumptions. Luckily, my 30 something self finds it charming. So, I sit back with my khaki-wearing husband, drink my beer and clear out before curfew.

And luckily, there are New Orleans high school bars institutions where my past, present and future self can mingle with generations before me and to those come. And hopefully, one day I will sit with my doddering partner in crime, back home from North Carolina.