The “Talking”- In real life, this is the stage in the relationship shortly after you’ve just met. During this stage, a mutual interest in one another has been established and communication basically involves a lot of meeting up, flirting, texting, Facebook stalking, and well…TALKING. There is about a two week window of opportunity allocated for an actual date to be established.
However, by New Orleans standards this first level is basically non-existent. True to New Orleans form, we add cocktails to the equation, naturally haze out this rather mundane stage in life, and jump to the next level- “The Seeing.” (Side note: Since New Orleans is very small and rather incestuous, there really is no need to “get to know” one another anyway.)
The “Dating”- You’ve officially gone on at least one “fancy” date and a few more casual dates, and dates no longer have to be planned in advance. (And by dates, I mean you meet up for drinks- usually with other friends in tow- and end up together at the end of the night. Consistently.)
The “Relationship”- Congratulations, you’ve made it official (on Facebook). You’ve defined the relationship with the “where is this going?” talk and you’re exclusive (for the most part).
The “Serious Relationship”- It’s been over a year and people wonder why you aren’t engaged yet. You are dangerously close to entering the point of no return.
The “Engagement”- Typically, this stage lasts for about another 6 months to a year. Guys– you have a very short window of opportunity to back out. Ladies– the shorter the engagement, the better, so plan fast.
The “Marriage”- The last stage- the stage where I’ll know that I won’t be confined to an eternal life of solitude with my cat Harriet. How long it lasts and what you do with it is at your discretion at this point. Some people choose to fall off the face of the earth, while others choose to only hang out with other married couples. But that of course does not apply to New Orleans. In any other city, marriage would be synonymous to death for me, but not even that will keep a New Orleanian from letting the good times roll.
Pookie Lola writes Crescent City (Mis)Connection weekly for NolaVie.