If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Monday, February 9, 2009

Where Were You?

As seen over at Profgrrrl (who by the way has what I believe may be the world's most adorable and well-behaved baby) and Seeking Solace:

1.) Challenger space shuttle exploded (1986):

I was working my first "real" office job (previously I had worked in an office the size of a closet in the back of a gourmet food store and the "back office" of a phone store--remember when they used to have stores for regular phones and not cell phones?) and my desk was in the open area but right outside my boss' office. I had been standing in her office, yaking away, when my phone rang. I reached over to answer it--half in and half out of the doorway--only to hear my ex-husband say the Challenger had exploded.

2.) Berlin Wall falls down (1989):

I vaguely remember this happening but have no idea where I was when I heard it. I was pregnant pretty much that entire year so many events are foggy.

3.) Oklahoma City federal building bombing (1995):

Hmmm. Not a clue and no good pregnancy excuse. However I'm fairly sure my ex told me. I notoriously shun all news sources and have always relied on husbands to tell me the important stuff.

4.) OJ Verdict (1995):

Don't recall the verdict but recall the car chase very clearly. Almost every night after working out at the dojo we went up to my ex-'s partner/best friend's apartment to hang out. Often there was a sporting event, such as boxing or basketball. Instead that night we watched OJ's Bronco.

5.) Princess Diana dies (1997):

Every summer my family would all spend the last few weeks of the summer at a family resort on the beach. Each sister would rent a separate cottage with her husband and their child(ren)--if they had them. The kids were all close in age and got along wonderfully. It was a fun time, with a lot of shared childcare. That day my sister, Meg, and I were on a bike ride and as we rode through town I saw the headlines on the newspaper. It was shocking.

Another clear Princess Di memory was her wedding. My BFF at the time and I were crashing at her father's empty apartment. The night before we let some older neighbor gets us drunk on beer and well lets just say there were a few regrets the next day.

6.) Columbine massacre (1999):

Not a clue.

7.) JFK Jr. Plane crash (1999):

I was in the very early stages of my relationship with b. Angel was spending half the week at his dad's house and I would pack a bag and head over to b's apartment as soon as I dropped him off. I remember walking in the door and b telling me the news (see I said I rely on husbands).

8.) Bush/Gore crazy election (2000):

Two of my favorite friends were in town for a work function. We were having a sleepover at my place instead of them paying for a hotel. Angel was just old enough to be interested in an election and we all stayed up way too late watching and hoping. I believe Angel's extreme political cynicism started that evening. Thankfully it has ever-so-slightly abated after our last election.

9.) September 11, (2001):

Wow, this could be an entire post unto itself. At the time I was writing my dissertation and being very cavalier about work. I rarely showed up before 11 am. Angel was at his father's the night before and b, who was close to moving in but not quite there yet, had just left for work. I was taking my time getting ready and went to pick up some dry cleaning around the corner. The owner told me a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center and I assumed it was a stunt gone wrong. I believe I did not act sufficiently shocked for him. I went back up to my apt, turned on the TV in time to see the other plane hit and the the towers fall.

At the time I lived a block away from the island in which the attack happened. My son went to school about 2 miles away from Ground Zero. I realized my ex would have just dropped him off at school (luckily he was too young for us to let him go by himself--which we did a year later). I tried to cross the footbridge onto the island only to be stopped by barricades and guards. Trains were not running. Cellphones were not working. Two days before b and I had adopted Pupzilla and were planning on surprising Angel when he got back from his father's the next day. I went back up to my apartment, hugged my new dog, and watched the news. b eventually managed to call. His job was in a nearby state and he had just driven through a tunnel when he saw the plane hit.

It was a nerve-wracking day and it took several hours for my ex to call and let me know that he and Angel were safely home. While I was upset I wasn't panicked. At the time I still felt a great deal of anger and resentment towards my ex but even at our darkest I knew there was nothing that would stop him from getting our son out of a dangerous environment. He was not that far from Angel's school when he heard and was able to get him pretty quickly. However no trains were running and the streets were chaotic. They ended up taking a very long and surreal walk up to my sister's house before they could make it all the way to the other end of the island to my ex's house.

10.) Space ship Columbia disintegrates (2003):

Again, not a clue...but that last one was a doozy, wasn't it?

11.) Hurricane Katrina hits (2005):

We were living in our little house in the woods at the time and we were all home. b must have had the TV on and I remember spending the day glued to it, feeling angry and deeply ashamed to live in a country that would treat its own citizens that way. To be honest this is the one I haven't gotten over.

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