Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Sad Commentary

Or, this may be three sad commentaries, maybe more. You know how my brain works - rather like an egg-beater.

Yesterday, I had my GYN appointment, which made me 1.25 hours late to the office. And despite being salaried, I still have to submit a TIME SHEET every two weeks. At my age. So I planned to skip lunch and eat at my desk and run no errands, except my boss, the owner of all these companies I work for, gave me errands to run - things to buy and send to him in Florida. Since Boston Market is just about three blocks from the office supply store I frequent, and since I've developed a fondness for their chopped salad with chicken, I felt a brief stop at their drive up window was in order.

However, I couldn't get out of the driveway of the office supply store because all kinds of emergency vehicles kept screaming past, and weaving through the five lanes of lunchtime traffic. One was a cop car with a bicycle on a rack on the back. That was a new one. After I got out into traffic, I had to pull over again, this time for an ambulance. Fire trucks, police cars, ambulance...must have been ugly.

The Boston Market is across a very large parking lot, but otherwise next to Wal-Mart (or Walmarket, as my friend Dell says). I thought it strange that four Walmarket employees, all female, were standing in the driveway. Weren't they afraid of getting hit by someone eager to get in and spend their hard-earned cash? I toodled my chubby self down the half block to the entry leading to the restaurant...when I finally noticed that all those emergency vehicles were in the Walmarket lot, even the cop with the bicycle. And there weren't very many cars parked next to the building. And those four female employees were stretched across the driveway, blocking the entrance.

The voice on the drive-up service for the restaurant took my order, and couldn't believe I didn't want more than just a salad. The voice (it was a very perky, cute, but vapid voice...)couldn't believe I didn't want more than a salad with some chicken, but I'm only eating for one, and how did she know I was chubby over the loudspeaker? But I digress...

I pulled up to the pick-up window, passed over my $1 off coupon and my money (boy was she disappointed that I had a coupon...and yes, I'm chubby and I use coupons, and this is what my life has become, along with filling in time sheets) I asked what was going on. She said in her cute little perky voice, "Oh, another bomb threat," and handed me my bag-o-lunch. "ANOTHER?!" I said. And her reply? (This is where I get sad...) "Yeah, they had one a couple weeks ago. (BIG shrug) It's 9/11. Have a nice day."

I puzzled over this all afternoon. I THINK what her shrug and casual attitude said was *what do you expect on 9/11?* but then I wonder if it was even more blase' than that, and it said *bomb threats are no big deal.* I still don't know. Either way, it makes me very sad that some portion of the population feels we should expect some creep to make bomb threats at Wal-Mart on 9/11. Part of me is upset that we have creeps that make bomb threats on any day. And though the larger part of this tax-payer is pleased that we have people who respond to bomb threats, I'm really frustrated that they have to respond to every single one of these, with this kind of person-power, every time some creep decides to do this.

I'm also sad because it was the anniversary of 9/11 - that we have that kind of anniversary to memorialize. Last night, I didn't watch much news, because I didn't want to see the re-hash of it all, but my dear uncle (aka Knuckle George) sent me a power-point show of some very moving pix from the event. I don't want to forget, I really don't. Part of me even wants these annual reminders, so that I can keep some anger alive (I tend to forgive and forget far too quickly and people take advantage of that). But dear husband (aka Oldtimer) told me about a discussion panel he heard on NPR last night which stated that every one of these documentaries, and memorial services, and all the other stuff we do every anniversary of the attack is "like a postcard to bin Laden." There's merit in that thought, too. We've given him a lot of power over us.

Now that I've reached my mid 50s, sometimes I look in the mirror with surprise and wonder what happened to me. More and more often now, I watch the news, I interact with people in the stores, and I think "what's happened to us?" It makes me sad.


JudiA said...

Yes. To everything.

Wish I had words...


Kai said...

So many, many things in this world are horrific. And sadly, SO sadly, it begins not with government, not with ANY of the 'big' things, but with individuals world-wide; with simple things; things that used to be commonplace: people who no longer remember (or CHOOSE) to say PLEASE and THANK YOU and to ask, "Are you okay?" if someone looks upset. Common courtesy. Generosity of spirit. Pride in taking care of ourselves and our homes and our schools and our surroundings. Placing emphasis on Earth and her inhabitants instead of accruing expensive, mindless, unnecessary 'status-symbol' STUFF to be tossed aside, often unused. Such simple things we USED to do - things that have - with so MANY people - gone to the wayside. We've become a greedy planet. A planet so intolerant & suspicious of those who look or sound or think differently, or practice different faiths, that we are ready to fight, when fighting will NEVER bring positive changes. It's spilled over into the generation who will soon run this country. Just LOOK at a teen - maybe even subconsciously - & if that teen has the fighting mindset, he or she will gun you down for 'disrespecting' him or her. What has HAPPENED to us? Those things - those very small things - practiced by every human on this planet - would go a long way toward guaranteeing an end to wars and all they involve. I have hope for us. I HAVE to. Despite 9/11, despite this god-awful business in Iraq, despite everything, I have hope. If I don't - if I join the uncaring, the joyless, the angry, the hating, the destroyers - I am just one more in the sadness. I won't DO that. I won't BE it. I hope one person at a time decides the same thing. It WILL make a difference.