Eight years ago today I remember exactly where I was when I found out about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon: Office Depot in Annapolis, MD. I was there to buy some paper so I could print out my expense report and send it in via snail mail to get paid for my expenses. I remember the kid behind the counter, jacked up hair, lots of piercings, in the Office Depot uniform – incongruous to say the least. He seemed like he was high, ranting and raving about planes flying into buildings in New York.
As I walked out the door, I called my best friend and asked if he’d heard anything about this. “Yeah, I’m watching it on TV like the rest of the country,” was the response. The comment cut into me. It insinuated that I had my head in a hole or something. It had been a nice day up until this point. Sunny and warm, but the humidity had cleared out finally.
I spent the rest of the day trying to work, but overcome by the events – like the rest of the country. I was living in an apartment in a waterfront house on Spa Creek. I tried to fish some to get my mind off it, but there were fighter jets in the sky, patrolling the area since the Naval Academy was just down the street. That was the first time I realized the Academy really is a base.
In the days after the attacks, I watched the news and got angrier and angrier. I watched my father’s comrades in FDNY combing through the rubble. He and I talked about going up to help, but Mom convinced us that it was too dangerous. And it probably was, but I wish Dad and I had done that.
I moved out of Annapolis shortly after the attacks and was living in Bethesda when we invaded Afghanistan. I remember getting the call from the same friend as we were convoying home from Penn State – “It’s started” he said.
For a while I felt like we were doing the right thing. Then talk of invading Iraq began. I knew that was a bad idea for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attacks at all and the whole thing was being cooked up by an administration hell bent on going to war.
In 2002, my dad died. Everything changed after that. My entire perspective on life changed. I began to notice more and more of the lies that were being propagated by the Bush administration. I also began to notice more and more that there really was a problem with the environment. I sold my SUV.
In 2003, I met TKD. By this time, my perspective had changed so much that I’m sure that if she and I had met in 2001, we would not have fallen in love. I finally purchased a condo in 2003, something I’d been talking about since 1999. Shortly thereafter I asked TKD to marry me.
In 2004, we got married and I started a new job. Don’t ever start a new job a month before you are about to get married, just trust me on that. We’d sold Mrs. TKD’s condo in DC in 2003 and bought a place in Edgewater, MD. Now it was time to sell the Bethesda condo, which we did in December of 2004.
We moved to Severna Park in 2005 and have lived here since. Together we’d had 5 real-estate transactions in the short time we’d known each other. That was crazy. We started to settle into the routine.
2006 is a blur. We were both working and there were a few trips abroad. One of which was for our friends’ wedding in England. That’s a cool story, the couple met at our wedding. Bill was a college friend of mine, Joanna was a college friend of Mrs. TKD.
Most of 2007 was spent preparing for the arrival of Mr. Grey, who showed up on 12/27/2007.
Most of 2008 was spent learning how to be parents and watching the value of our house fall along with our retirement accounts. I did not get fully behind Obama as I should have but I was very excited to see him win the election. (I voted for Bush in 2000 – now that will tell you how much my outlook changed.)
So here we are in 2009. The year is 3/4s over and I’m not sure what to say about it. Things have settled down. My big accomplishment for the year is that I’ve remained employed and I planted a garden that produced some veggies. Mr. Grey and Mrs. TKD are happy and healthy.