Because it seems incomprehensible that I could be pregnant until 40 weeks, and beyond possibility that I could go even further, this pregnancy now has a maximum time limit of 27 days from today.
Perhaps for that reason, or perhaps because my friend and I played much 1980’s Trivial Pursuit in Josh’s absence, I have had Europe’s 1986 single “The Final Countdown” stuck in my head for going on 24 hours. I don’t actually know much about 1980s pop culture, I realized, except inexplicably in the news category. I apparently paid far more attention to politics than anything else as a kid, because if the answer was Lloyd Bentsen or Nicolae Ceausescu, I was set. Just don’t ask me anything about Debra Winger or Def Leppard.
If I were doing blog mimicry, and representing Niobe, this post would have stopped simply with a YouTube video.
For being fairly unconscious of the world outside my Lego collection for most of the 1980s, I have strong memories of certain events. Many of them are not even remotely accurate – a good argument against oral history that tries to do much beyond explore memory. For example, the execution of Ceasescu, in my memory, happened at precisely the same time as a wall fell in Germany, which is not so off, but did you know that the Romanian dictator’s worst crime was scooping out his enemy’s eyeballs with a spoon? And that around the time he and his children were being executed by communists, reporters from NBC were taking the first tour ever of the Hermitage? And of course there was Oliver North and the return of our “hometown hero” from his stint as a hostage in Lebanon, heralded for me by a field trip to an airport populated by cheerleaders and high school bands. Such would be the story if we trusted a little girl from the midwestern US to tell it.
Every such story needs a soundtrack: a crazed medley of The Final Countdown plus Scorpion’s Winds of Change. Which about captures the nature of my memories of the period. I was old enough to realize, and people were constantly telling me, that we were living through significant times – times of great change. But as for what was changing, I hadn’t a clue. It’s a blurry mess in my mind, characterized by loud music and tears for a past I hadn’t experienced and a future I wasn’t even imagining.
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