Momentous Mouthful

September 10, 2011

Ten years ago today was a Monday.

In those times, my then-21-year-old daughter was back living at home, working in the area while engaged to a sailor stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, and supposedly set to join him out there after the new year.
As she was getting ready to move, my daughter didn’t have a car, so I usually drove her to work — I had the time being it then I myself didn’t have a job.

Unemployment came after I’d watched first-hand how stupid and malfunctioning the newspaper industry had become with a cut-and-slash approach to making a profit — even if the profit is dinky.
My job at a bi-weekly had been eliminated by being merged with two other jobs, and I’d have to relocate — one day I had a good position at a bi-weekly writing, editing and producing a couple of newspaper sections, and the next day not, without warning — and it was either their way or the highway.
A big media company gutted a fine, century-old family newspaper in a most impersonal, arbitrary, and, a most-inefficient way — first time I’d heard the term, “arrogant incompetence,” used to describe management, or any official decision-making operation (a most-colorful lady in Advertising used it to describe the big media company and its lackeys).
The term would go onto glory the following decade with George Jr. and The Dick.

Anyway, back to that particular Monday.
A seemingly ordinary beginning to an ordinary work week, and a clear, sunshine day — late summer and fall are most-beautiful — and as I drove my daughter along the streets of downtown San Luis Obispo, California, we talked about her upcoming marriage and the move east.
She was naturally a bit apprehensive about life as a military wife and if her husband-to-be could be put in harms way.
In a most-authoritative, daddy-like way, I tried to comfort her, saying the military is a good place to be right then, there shouldn’t be any problems, and there’s those educational benefits after he gets out of the Navy (he was into computers).
Blah, Blah, blah…
And then I blubbered this, and I remember the words most clearly, even still: “Oh, you’ll be fine. Unless there’s a war.”
Also a shameful remembrance of a condescending smirk being flat on my face.

The following morning…

A personal, historical footnote: I was way-wrong on both counts — my daughter’s marriage was chaotic and lasted less than five years, and the US has led the world into perpetual war since that following morning.
The new normal off a mouthful of shit.

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