30 Days of Shamelessness: Waste Time

What a coincidence. I just happen to be in the perfect mood for THIS particular day.

Although its September 11 and I’d love to share my story of what I was doing and where I was, I’m writing about wasting time. Talking about a waste of time – my 1st marriage.

It took Osama Ben Douchebagden to pull a fast one for me to realize something really important. I married the wrong guy. My boss asked me to drive him out to this little shop across the street from the Parliament. This is Ottawa. Canada’s Capital. We worked about 2 miles from the Parliament. The big government building where all the dudes make the wrong decisions on the country’s future? Follow me?

So. Our company had a HUGE mega conference in Paris. We were scheduled to fly out on September 12. SCHEDULED. Keyword here guys. My boss needed me to run him out to this small shop where he had his suitcase fixed. Mr. Frequent-Flyer-I-got-so-many-airmiles-I-take-my-family-to-Hawaii-yearly pretty much lived out of his suitcase. Of course it needed repair. And on September 11 it was ready for pick-up. Across the street from the Parliament.

Across the street from the Parliament, there is literally no parking. Trust me on this one. I was to drop him off and circle around the block until he came back out. I made my way in front of the Parliament about 8 times. Each time I passed it, the situation got worse. At first it was a bunch of police cars closing access to “The Hill” (this is what us Canucks refer to the slightly indented lawn in front of the parliament). Then the barricades came out. Then more police cars. Then more barricades. Then the entire military showed up with tanks and oozies and goozies and the whole sha-bang. Frightening. And I had NO idea what the heck was going on. None.

Finally my boss is standing on the corner, the streets are empty. Other than the military, the police and us. “What the ???” is all he can say. Bush is on the radio. Bush IS the radio. I don’t care what station I tuned to, even on my tape deck – we heard Bush claiming revenge.

Silently we made our way back to the office. By then our staff was on conference call with our Washington Rep. We had a Washington rep! Already the stores were emptied out downtown DC and WE were still pretty much clueless as to what was going on. Clueless. Denial. Its all the same.

Our flight to Paris, scheduled for the next day was leaving out of Montreal. A 1.5 hour drive from Ottawa (if I drove, 2 hours for your average driver). We had meetings and sessions in Montreal with our reps from there prior to our departure. The plan was to leave for Montreal during lunchtime, meet with our department heads, our reps and whatnot, spend the night with a few good bottles of red then all meet at the airport.

All flights were canceled, but we stuck to our plan. My mom screamed at me: “You are NOT getting on any plane! You will be bombed and killed!!!” I called my husband, told him all was going according to our plan – drive out to Montreal, etc. He warned me my flight would most likely be canceled the next day, but since we still had all those other meetings I still had to go.

The world was coming to an end, and I did not feel the need to be with my husband. No. I preferred being with a roomful of near strangers. And that’s when it dawned on me. I married the wrong guy.

After it was CLEAR my flight to Paris was canceled I drove back home to Ottawa. Along the way I stopped so many times. I couldn’t control my tears. And trust me. I could have stopped in the middle of the highway. I was a lonesome traveler. I leaned on the shoulder of a highway when there was no other shoulder to cry on… (I should write for Hallmark).

I cried the loss of what I could not put a finger on. The American Way? I was Canadian. Yet, I sensed that loss. And I cried over my marriage. I cried because on this day, when any normal person runs to loved ones, calling my husband was merely an afterthought after seeing all my colleagues on the phone or leaving to go home. I cried and cried. I did not want to leave that shoulder. I did not want the unknown change that was to come.

After all I guess I did write about 9-11… And maybe I haven’t wasted my time after all.

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