Just the other day, Jeremy and I were remembering where we were and what we were doing the night Princess Diana died. I remember Stephanie Vermeesch and Ryan, Kevin, and Tommy Lane were over at my house in Yale while our parents were out at the movies. It was a beautiful night, and we had all just played pitch-black hide-and-go-seek and sent the little kids down the hall to play video games while we watched Saturday Night Live. I was sitting in the recliner with Kevin, and Stephanie was sitting on the couch with Ryan (Ryan was my ex-boyfriend and Kevin was her ex-boyfriend and we were all still friends. Weird.) when the news broke in on SNL. Jeremy had the same vivid memories of SNL being interrupted ... only he was pissed off that he had to miss his show while I cried about the loss of sweet Diana. Ha!
We had a long discussion about those flashbulb memories that people have for momentous events, like 9/11 and the Kennedy assassination. And then I came home the next day from a long day of work, opened up my laptop to send someone a message on Facebook, and learned that Michael Jackson had died when I saw someone's newsfeed. It really made me think about how weird that memory is going to be in years to come. Compared to the way my mom found out about the Kennedy assassination (an announcement in school), it seems very strange, impersonal, and (dare I say?) ... geeky. "Um, yeah ... (push up glasses with tape holding together the bridge of the nose) ... I get all my death notices on the Facebook."
On a lighter note, it turns out there are people with hearts and feelings left in this world. Today I met Jeremy and Jess downtown for lunch at Menna's Joint, and I had to park a few blocks away because of the construction on Washington. When we turned the corner to get back in the car so I could drop Jeremy and Jess back off at work, I saw a Parking Enforcement golf-cart-type vehicle next to my car and the meter blinking EXPIRED. I shrieked "Noooo!" and ran towards her just as she was pulling away.
I shouted, "I'm here!!" and she asked, "Where you been?" Dejected, I said, "Oh, okay ..." and gave up. Then she looked at my Menna's cup and said, "I'll take that ticket back. Bring it here. I would never want to offend someone with good taste ... I LOVE Menna's!!"
I gave her that ticket back so quickly! It sure was a nice change of tone after a whole day of hearing people complain about other people mourning Michael Jackson's death. Why is it wrong to be sad about the death of the artist who brought "Thriller," "Beat It," "Bad," "Billie Jean," and "Smooth Criminal" into my life? And why do people care about what other people care about?
And from now on, I hope my Facebook death notifications aren't as cruel and unfeeling as some of the ones I read yesterday.