Today is 7/7, sadly, the anniversary of the London Bombings. It’s a very sad day for London and I’ve been watching the coverage since I came home from work. Well, after I checked my email and ate several chocolates, and opened a bottle of wine to go with my Roquefort. I very regretfully can’t exactly remember what happened on the anniversary of 9/11 (which I contend is the same intent but with a lower body count, hence the announcement of the thwarting of the destruction of the Holland Tunnel in NYC), since I was in grad school and therefore awake for , more than likely, 3 days at the time, but it strikes me as rather odd that the news coverage, with the exception of Sky, which is the UK version of CNN but with a sense of humor/pop culture, has pretty much been dedicated to anything other than the bombings. Which I guess is really the point of staring down terrorism: life, OUR life, will go on. No matter what it entails. Big brother will evict another would-be D List celebrity tonight. Bridget Jones will still drink too much chardonnay. And I will mark the occasion by watching my favorite of all British movies, Saving Grace. I think it’s even funnier now that I live in this area of the world. If you haven’t seen the movie, rent it immediately, stock up on munchies (lots of munchies but not nearly as many as required for Eat, Drink, Man Woman), get over the accent problem, and you can thank me at a later date. And watch the credits. Possibly the funniest movie I’ve ever seen and absolutely the best thing anyone can wrap for me for Christmas. Not that I’m fishing… As my mentor would say, moving right along.
What I love beyond this obviously snide humor and all the Scottish accents (I don’t even know how to spell that noise…) is that it’s a great story of survival and friendship. And of how a small town functions. As much as I hated small town life growing up, being on the worst end of it, I still find great comfort in being able to rely on your neighbors. And I can only remember the day, very shortly after 7/7, when at the office, the Irish Air Force flew over on their way to London to help defend the air space while the Brits re-gained control of the city. The entire office froze for just a few seconds but our thoughts were clear and unanimous. It was unnerving. But still, I loved the spirit of unity. Even though the British are the sworn enemy of the Irish, common decency and need won. Neighbors need help, you help. Even if you want them to move.
**Yeah, I get a lot more of this movie now that I live here. Craig Ferguson is a genius. Give me a Scottish accent and I? am toast.**
I’m sure so many people are going to write to me later about the missed moral implications, but isn’t it more important to take valuable lessons for oneself than to focus on the overall missed impact?
I had a neighbor in college who knocked on my door late one evening. I’d returned from many hours at the studio and upon opening the door, I decided it would be a very good thing to leave my keys in the lock while I retired to bed. He woke me and returned the keys with a very strong lecture. That’s how we met. (Mom, you should have stopped reading about a paragraph ago, sorry. It had a happy ending though!) From that day, he never passed my door without checking the lock to see if I’d been awake too long and I, to this day, am absolutely paranoid about my keys. I never left them in the door again and since then have developed the habit of always, Always, ALWAYS, knowing where my keys are. I’ve been known to wake up in the middle of the night to check their location. But, the important thing is (Mom, are you listening?) my neighbor, who had nothing invested in me, out of the goodness of his heart, and more likely the sheer will-power of his mother, decided he needed to be compassionate and take care of me, because I obviously couldn’t handle it at the time. So he did. And I am thankful and thrilled he, too, was raised in a small town. There are good people in the world and they far outnumber the alternative.
God love the British. They are loud, and crude, and drunk, but they are wonderful people in their own right. Rest easy, you have friends that will back you up when you need it.