I've Lived In Chico, CA 9 Years Now. Incredible.
And It Came To Pass
Whenever I stay in Chicago with my daughter, I forage through her library because whatever bed I am sleeping in, or tub I am bathing in, I am happiest with plenty of mindless reading available.
One of the books I pulled for perusal this time was People’s 1996 Yearbook of stuff that happened in ‘95. Fascinating for lots of reasons. 1995 doesn’t seem that long ago, does it? But it is; seventeen years ago means almost two decades. All these famous people looked so young then, but many were, are…uh, around my age.
There’s a photo of a hopeful looking Princess Di on the cover, and a number of other impossibly young faces: Brad Pitt, John Kennedy, George Clooney, and Courtney Cox.
Julia and Lyle were ending it; Oprah was raking it in; Glenn Close wins it (twice); Packwood still didn’t get it; Susan Powter lost it. Hugh Grant was naughty with it and got caught. OJ was naughty and got away with it. JFK Jr. launched it. Anna Nicole Smith became a widow and inherited it. Do you remember all those names and the “its”?
That was the year of what happened in Oklahoma City. We all remember it.
Charlie Sheen married, as did Melissa Gilbert, Elizabeth Taylor, Roseanne Barr, Stephen Hawking, and Pamela Anderson, although eventually those marriages ruptured as did many others too numerous to list.
I’ll call out Princess Di’s, though. In 1995 she told quite a story that was broadcast on the BBC. The book reports how people reacted to that program and her own tales of infidelity in relation to Charles’ known and very major indiscretion. Her behavior came as a shock to many veteran palace watchers, and her affairs were singled out as being particularly disgusting. One of the watchers said that he hoped that sensational revelations about her love life would stop because “William and Harry (as they grow older) will question more and more what has gone on. They’ll suffer from her admission of infidelity.”
Ah, Veteran Palace Watcher, you didn’t know the half of it. You were right about their suffering, but so wrong about the reason. And that is a poignant lesson about life, isn’t it? Life is always shifting into transformative mode before we are ever really ready. What we care deeply about now may or may not be of significance next year, depending on how it all unfolds.
The moments we have are all that matters. That’s elementary and so obvious, but the bookful of hopeful young faces and emphatic statements from not that long ago (to me) has been a pretty effective reminder. We do and say all kinds of ordinary and sometimes sensational things, but we really don’t know the half of it at any given point in time; and it all comes to pass.