Whirlwind Romance

A rush of emotion dropped a veil over all but the tiny world of the two people in seats 11A and 11B, in a jet plane floating somewhere over the Atlantic, in a still moment in time.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Reaction to disaster

I recently went through a horrendous experience--my house was flooded and I was evacuated in waist-high water. My finished basement, full of photo albums and heirloom furniture, was destroyed. I spent two months cleaning, replacing, fixing.  As a single woman in a new neighborhood I often felt overwhelmed and alone.  I wondered why my close friends and relatives didn't swarm around, helping. I could manage, and had plenty of volunteer help, but I couldn't help but wonder, what kept my close friends away? I knew them as warm, caring, helpful people. Why weren't they underfoot?
   This is my hypothesis. (1) No one had a clue just how awful the situation was. Here in the U.S. our catastrophes are manageable generally, something to be proud of. But it means we aren't familiar with them. (2) we're jaded by media hype.  We all know that the TV crew hones in on the one corner that's flooded, sliding over the parts that are perfectly fine in order to gain the maximum drama. As a result, most of us don't believe the reports of massive flooding etc. I think we've become so cynical that many presume the fat broad with partially permed hair standing in a puddle is a shill. "(Edith, I swear that's the same woman they interviewed after the tornado in Oklahoma").
    I guess you could say it's a tribute to how great this country is. Or have we lost something?

4 comments:

flchen1 said...

I am SO sorry to hear this, Meredith--how absolutely horrendous, and compounded by going through it without the support of your nearest and dearest. I do think that you're right--many people likely had no inkling how difficult your situation was, and it's possible too, that the ones who had a hint might not have known how/what to offer and didn't want to intrude. Instead, they ended up staying away--kind of like when we aren't sure how to help a friend who's bereaved or suffering from a terminal illness, and so we just stay away :(

Sometimes it's a reminder for us to go ahead and take the risk of being a little intrusive rather than hanging back. Thanks, Meredith, and I'm so sorry for your losses.

M. S. Spencer said...

Excellent advice and thanks for your kind words! btw, everything's fixed now & looks good--just waiting for insurance (sigh). Meredith

flchen1 said...

I'm so glad that everything's back in place--hope the insurance comes through quickly! I'm sorry you had to go through that in the first place!

M. S. Spencer said...

Thanks! Did you see my email about your prize?