Hello. My Name is Amelia and I’m Addicted to Nostalgia.

The King of PopA self-admitted sucker for reminiscing, I can sit for hours while people self-importantly wax nostalgic about where they were when they found out Heath Ledger was dead or what they were doing when they first heard about 9/11. Michael Jackson’s death last week provided even more fodder for my enjoyment. Were you, like me, stuck on a boat in Boston Harbor with 100 elderly (as in, celebrating their 50th reunion) alumni from your high school and no access whatsoever to reliable sources like TMZ and Perez Hilton? Or did your new twitter obsession pay off big time as the news started to trickle in via Gawker and the aforementioned Mr. Hilton?

While I find these stories morbidly fascinating to no end, there’s one that stands out among all the others, one that really takes the cake. It’s the story of my mother and what she was doing when she found out Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated.

It was June 1968. A skinny teenager still living at home in Cambridge, my mother had been hanging out with her crazy cousin Rose all day, listening to the Beatles (or some other stereotypical thing that teenagers did in the ‘60s). With the beginnings of a massive headache starting to emerge, my mother took a little white pill that Rose insisted was Tylenol and left for home. An hour later as she was in the midst of an ironing spree, pressing everything from curtains to napkins to her five brothers’ pants, did my mother realize that her cousin hadn’t really given her Tylenol. Oh no, nothing as tame as that. Instead, my mother’s cousin had given her speed. Yes, speed – as in meth, crank, ice or whatever the kids are calling it these days. [Disclaimer: I totally Googled those terms. I’m not down with the street names for illegal drugs.]

There my mother was, all jacked up on speed, ironing the entire contents of her parents’ house when news about Bobby Kennedy’s assassination hit the air waves of the family’s TV. She continued to watch coverage of his assassination into the night, while ironing every sock in her bureau and all the sheets in the linen closet.

So while your personal memory of MJ’s death may not be as epic as my mother’s cranked up account of the RFK assassination, I’m sure it’s just as interesting – at least to me anyway.

Posted by Amelia

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