Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Great Crisis Moratorium of 2011

Do you know what I'm sick and tired of?

I'm sick and tired of being in the big, fat middle of crisis.

I mean, I was born during the Cold War -- I remember having "Civil Defense Drills" in addition to "Tornado Drills."  Really, like "duck and cover" under your school desk would have had any deterrent effect on a nuclear weapon.  We even had to have plans to get home from school without transportation after the atomic explosion! 

(It's a good thing we never had a real atomic attack because our plan obviously wasn't very good.  On the day of the practice run when I was in about the 4th grade my friend, Susan, and I got lost on the way to her house where my Mama was to pick me up so we could begin life in post-apocalyptic central Arkansas.  Definitely not a good plan.).

There were the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of JFK, the assassination of RFK and MLK (and the ensuing riot in my junior high courtyard by the few neighborhood black students because the flag was flown at half-staff for only 3 days to mourn Dr. King).  There were the Vietnam War, Apollo 13, and school desegregation.

Ah, school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Now there was a well-thought-out plan if ever I lived through one.  Not.  Seriously.  Really not.

Having fought against actually doing the desegregating part since 1957, and doing only piecemeal integration in the interim, the LR School District finally got around to integrating the public schools in the early 70s.  But, instead of starting at the elementary level, where young kids could grow up going to school with people whose skin color was different, and learning to be friends the way that kids learn to be friends, they chose to start at the high school level.  With pleasant, easily accepting-of-change adolescents. 

And they didn't just bus everyone around to mix up the races.  No -- they chose to wreck the black community by closing down their high school, Horace Mann, and divvying up all the Mann students among the white high schools via long bus rides.  They also gerrymandered the attendance zones of the white schools, thus messing up all kinds of extra-curricular activities.  And of course, this pleased no one. 

So, there were race riots at my high school and I was in the big fat middle of them.  My parents almost shipped me off to All Saints Boarding School in Vicksburg to finish high school, but my "cooler head" fortunately prevailed.  (Actually, it probably wasn't my cool head -- it was probably my screaming, crying hissy fit at having to leave the high school honey and cheerleading squad).

I lost my mother's mother in September 1977, then I lost my own mother the following month.  She was a few months shy of 46; I was barely 23 and an only child.  That's a crisis.

Crises seemed to die down when I was a young lawyer, wife, and mother -- or maybe I just chose to ignore them.  Well, there was that one incident with our baby daughter in intensive care with meningitis for several weeks, and we had our fair share of bad weather and stock market "corrections" during those years, I suppose. (Yeah -- that was a pretty spiffy little "correction" that landed us a 13% adjustable rate mortgage when we moved into our second home in 1983.)  There were probably lots of natural disasters, too.

But, holy cow!  Skipping over the Clinton years (and the teenage years of the daughters), since 9/11 it seems like the crises are non-stop!

International markets fluctuating wildly. Popes dying.  Volcanoes erupting and stopping trans-Atlantic flights.  Pirates.  Wars in far-away places.  Funky viral illnesses and super-bugs.  Tsunamis and earthquakes and tornadoes.  The Oil Spill and shut-down of drilling and fishing in the Gulf.  The Obama administration.


And now, the Great Flood of 2011.  (And the "survivors' guilt" that comes with it.)

And the termites are swarming, which means they're busy making all kinds of new, baby termites.  These are freaking termites, not snowflakes.

I'm sick and tired of feeling anxious.

And, despite being on 5 doses daily of 2 different antibiotics for 5 days, I still can't knock out this stupid infection, and if I wind up in the hospital on IV antibiotics I'll ruin my baby girl's wedding shower next weekend (and if I wind up on steroids, I'll swell up and will look like a sausage stuffed into my Mother of the Bride dress, and we. just. simply. can't. have. that!!).

So, from this moment forward (until after June 8th, at least) I am calling for a moratorium on Crises.

C'mon! Who's with me!  Seriously, I'm a little cranky here -- who's with me?!?!


  1. I'm with ya. I've kinda-sorta called my own lil moratorium on crises, in that I choose to ignore all but the most egregious of political stuff. That's all subject to change on a whim, though. Election season draws nigh...

    Today's crises seem like small beer compared to the stuff on your itemized list, Moogie. I lived through all that too, with the notable exception of the Little Rock desegregation stuff. But THAT crisis was far-reaching and it caused a minor crisis of my own: that event caused me to discover my father was a closet racist. I won't go further than this, but it was a watershed event in my young life.

    On the flip-side of the crisis coin... I put the Cuban Missile Crisis to VERY good use. Me, my best bud, and our girlfriends cut school at the peak of that event (we were high school juniors), got gloriously drunk and indulged in other oh-so-rare pre-birth-control-pill debauchery. I mean... it was the End Of The World, yanno?

    Best Crisis Ever. ;-)

  2. OM gosh on the termites.

    Funny story about the walking home after the bomb drops plan. I remember well that section in the Williams Elementary Policy Book.

    I remember your sweet mama. I can still see her face and hear her voice as I would go "behind the scenes" with my Tynk at the Yarn Mart to say 'hey' to your dad.

    You should have been on the school board... amen to the stupid plans they have concocted through the years.

    I hope all goes well for y'all in NOLA as the river makes its way down that way.

  3. I think the deseg stuff is a watershed event in many lives, Buck. Even to this day.

    Running for the school board was on my five-year plan at one point, Cuz. Until I started regularly attending board meetings, that is. It was at that point that I decided I don't have the temperament to put up with "the public."