Hurricane Katrina is my fault. There. I said it. I have been harboring this secret for eight years now, and I just couldn’t hold it inside any longer.
Let me explain.
Mama always told me and my sisters, “Don’t you ever, ever, ever put your purse on the floor. If you do, your money will disappear!”
So where do I put my purse when I’m dining out, for example? For everyone knows that it’s rude to place your purse on the table. Why, it’s in my lap, of course! Or on a windowsill if we’re sitting next to one.
Jillian gave me cute little doo-hickey eons ago. I call it a purse claw. You hang your purse on it from the edge of the table. The only problem is, sometimes the lip of the table is too wide and the claw won’t grab onto the table.
That’s what happened in July of 2005. My sister Paige and I were at Diva Beads in Mandeville, Louisiana to make ourselves some pretty jewelry. I made a jade bracelet – which is not germane to the story – I’m just saying.
Paige said, “Where did you put your purse?”
I blushed. I was so ashamed to whisper my answer. “On the floor.”
She looked at me in horror, but didn’t respond. She tucked hers precariously on her lap as she awkwardly worked on her jewelry, balancing her purse on her legs.
I picked up my purse and placed it on my lap. What was I thinking? Had all Mama’s good training gone down the toilet?
What I didn’t know was, the die had already been cast. My money was about to disappear….at least temporarily. And the sad part about it is, my foolish behavior caused thousands of people’s money to disappear with mine.
One month later, Hurricane Katrina hit and flooded my house. My bank’s headquarters flooded, too – and with it, their server, so there was no accessing my bank account for a while. And of course, I had no idea how much repairs would cost, and how much insurance would cover, so I was pinching every penny.
I could write a book on it. But I won’t bore you with minutia. I just hope that everyone affected by Hurricane Katrina will forgive my transgression – and I hope that we have enough time between us and The Storm to be able to look back with a certain humor.
We survived. We rebuilt. We came back stronger.
And I have not put my purse on the floor since, just so you know.
Well, Stacy, perhaps that’s why we’ve never had much money…I’ve put my purse on the floor since I’ve had a purse. Alas. Do you think correcting this bad habit will change around our finances? lol. (Then again maybe having good-paying jobs might be the answer…) I am thinking about how our minds make up the craziest stories and then we believe them–sometimes as a society–and then, because we believe them, they sometimes come true! (P.S. Loved your writing, as always.)
We just have the craziest superstitions in New Orleans – I don’t know their origin, though. I could write a book….maybe I will! ❤
Gosh Stacy, I haven’t heard this superstition before and I was always sure that my mother knew every superstition there was to know in the whole world! I’m so glad you survived Katrina and the loss of your money.
We have many, many strange superstitions in New Orleans! ❤
Garden Of Daisies said:
I have one of those purse doo-hickey’s, too. If I forget to bring it along, I hang my purse from my knee. It never ever sits on the floor, so hopefully destruction and death will not rain down here.
Those are handy little items, aren’t they. Wish I had had mine back in 2005! ❤
Oh dear, I too, am clearly responsible for unknowingly causing destruction because my bag lives on the kitchen floor next to my chair, when it isn’t over my shoulder. Seriously, though, I’ve never heard of that particular rule. (Shoes not going on the table, yes.) Over here in Scotland we have been looking with incomprehension at the reports of hurricane damage. Perhaps some of those people will find your blog and will see that it is possible to go on. Good for you.
We have a lot of strange superstitions in New Orleans – the purse thing is just one of them! ❤
Well, I am doomed for sure! But in my defense, I either buy shoulder bags that can be hung from chairs or bags with those little metal ‘feet’ on bottom. At least now we know what caused Katrina and not the damaging climate change from unscrupulous corporations and government policies that refuse to put people and the environment over profit.
I’m sorry for your terrible loss, Stacy. Something to tell the Grandchildren someday, right? You are a true survivor. Hugs, xoxo
Thanks for your kind words, Karen. There has been enough time now that I can look back on it. I could not think of it for a long time. ❤
Glad you survived and came back stronger. Up here we were praying for everyone who was affected. What a challenge that must have been!!
I think we don’t put purses on the table because it’s sort of ugly; same as if you put your coat, hat, scarf, mitts, etc. there. The table is for food, dishes and beverages. It’s meant to be a lovely sort of oasis, not a closet. At least, that’s what came to me while thinking about your post . . . and maybe sanitation, too. Who knows where that purse has been? 🙂
I like that explanation for why it’s rude to put your purse on the table – “It’s not a closet.” Too funny and too true! ❤
I wonder why we shouldn’t put a purse on the table? I’m in deep trouble, I always toss mine on the floor. I’m glad that Hurricane Katrina didn’t get the best of you, and that you came back stronger. That must have been such an awful time.
I don’t know why it’s bad form to put our purses on the table – maybe for the sake of sanitation (?). Katrina was an awful time, but we survived – a few scars, yes, but survived all the same. ❤
Nice story about superstition but it would be too bad if that would be the cause of so much trouble…! Well, I’m like you and never put my purse on the floor. ALL of my purses do look like new from the bottom and that way I never have to worry about having my money disappear. Love your purse and also your moccasins! Have a happy Pentecost weekend.
Leaving one’s purse on the floor is a nasty habit, for more reasons than one!
Thanks for the Pentecost well wishes – same to you. ❤