Southern Legitimacy Statement: This piece will resonate the most with New Orleanians/ southeastern Louisianans, but I hope the bigger picture will resonate with all, regardless of geography.
It was August when I first learned that your favorite Hansen’s snoball flavor is also Nectar Cream. Even for the hundreds of other snoball consumers in southeast Louisiana, this was an uncommon preferential flavor. You also, like me, always take your Nectar Cream snoball with condensed milk. This solidifies our fate as partners in my mind.
We’re definitely going to have Nectar Cream snoballs at the—
I bit my tongue. It was too soon to discuss hypothetical wedding plans; we had only been dating since June, and now I thought you’d think I was crazy. I attempted to stifle my nervous giggle, too.
Have them at what?
You inquired with a smile. You knew exactly what I was talking about. You knew me so well from our two years of friendship and the year I spent courting you prior to the start of our relationship. I feel like my most comfortable self around you.
We’ll have to have them at the wedding.
You laughed some more. You weren’t comfortable with thinking that far ahead, or even with the concept of marriage, but you entertained the idea because you love me, and for once you were with someone who you felt you could be with “forever.”
I love you. Nectar Cream.
I said this hesitantly, staring into your eyes before we kissed in The Maple Leaf courtyard.
Following this exchange, “Nectar Cream” became our coded catch-all phrase, symbolic for I love you, I want to be with you forever, I believe in us and our future together. I mean it, I really do, but I know I can get ahead of myself. I know things can happen that we simply aren’t capable of anticipating. I worry, at our own expense, that divergent geographical desires will be our undoing. In those moments of anxiety and sadness, I say to you, Nectar Cream. I wait for you to say it back, but sometimes you don’t without a reminder.