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10 Years On

My husband sent around an article from the BBC about how England had changed in the last 10 years and invited people to add how America had changed.

I found this at the BBC site and as I was reading (and not getting a lot of the references) thought about the US. How
has the US changed over the past 10 years? (Since we're much larger. Regional references are OK.

I'll start:
~I93 (Boston) was a parking lot looming over our heads, now it's a parking lot under our feet.
~We (the US) had a national surplus in 1997, now we're 3
trillion dollars in debt.
~10 years ago there wasn't a Starbucks on every bloody corner.

1. Coffee is served by the pint and it will cost more than a pint of beer.
4. I remember arranging to meet friends at a given location/time many days in advance. If they were late you had to scratch around for 10p to ring from a phone box (and their mum would always tell you they had set off). They would never stand you up, as the cowardly way of cancelling without warning by text just didn't exist then.
It's OK to take photos at concerts, so long as you use your phone.
12. Helen Mirren was occasionally called "Ma'am" by junior officers in Prime Suspect, but not by anybody else.

14. Swear words are no longer asterisked in a newspaper.
15. Headline puns are no longer the sole property of the tabloids.
19. You can no longer wear a hat or a hooded top inside a shopping centre.
21. Northern Ireland is one of the UK's top tourist destinations.
23. The phrase "Big Brother is watching you" should actually be the other way round for many people.

27. Passwords were for international spies and entry to gang huts a decade ago. Now you can barely buy milk without the need for some secretive alpha-numeric code.

I was trying to think of some both national and personal and I don't know if it's indicative of my mood this week, but I can only really think of bleak ones.

Ten years ago we were not at war (well, not officially and not in Iraq). Ten years ago the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in New York City. One didn't take one's shoes off for airport security. The Red Sox still hadn't broken "the curse" (I guess that counts as a positive). Blogging had yet to happen, but Geocities was revving up. Nobody had made a good film of a comic except Batman which was the old exception that proves the rule.

On the personal, it's rather timely. We moved to Boston in the end of March, 1997. I am not where I meant to be in 10 years, but looking back I'm not sure I had a vision of where I'd be, not a real one, and that is perhaps the answer. Ten years ago I didn't know how to drive (that is a positive in many ways--maybe not for the environment, stealing misery from the jaws of joy, that's me).

Ten years ago my father was still alive. In three weeks that will not be true. It's funny because I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I've been working on a long poem for about three weeks about the ten years that have passed since then. I'll post it here--I've given myself until the actual anniversary, April 1st, but I know it's going to take a lot of rewrites.

Two years ago I did six months of Behavioral Therapy. My therapist said that I tend look back at my life as a series of lows, of bad decisions and regrets. He made me map my life focusing only on the high points. It was much harder and I don't think I'm alone in that. I have done theater, design and acting. I've even been nominated for an award. I've done good work wherever I've worked. I've made good friends. Isn't that really what life is made up of? (I can't even figure out how you'd get the preposition off the end of that sentence). I didn't get divorced. I didn't kill myself. He (my BT) would say those last two are negatives framed as positives or something like that.

Sometimes I feel like we just moved here. Other times it seems amazing that I've done so many different things in just 10 years. I'm trying to focus on that.


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