Friday, September 09, 2005

What I did for love

We returned last night from our hurricane evacuation. We have no cable, and even if we did, the local CBS affiliate has pre-empted the U.S. Open to do hurricane aftermath coverage around the clock--except for permitting the broadcast of Oprah's show.

I was so disappointed about this last night. Then I happened to go out to see if I could find some take-out food, and a little place right down the street was open. They had two giant television screens on the wall, ten smaller screens all around the walls, and seven booth screens. I asked the owner if there was any chance he'd have the U.S. Open on over the weekend, and he said he'd put it on for me--just come on in.

So today I drove there--a short trip but it took a while because I was driving against a stream of returning evacuees (today was the first official day you could return to our parish). He put on the CBS channel to the local station, and when he realized it had pre-empted the Open, he told me to come back after the rush and he'd try to get a network feed for me. The guy was just so nice.

So I came back and "watched" live Web scoring of Elena Dementieva v. Mary Pierce. I thought, well, this is really disappointing, but if I can see Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters, that will be great. I went back, and he still didn't have the feed. He told me to come back again. I went back right afer the first set started, and his brother--equally nice--asked me to wait five or ten minutes. Then he came back and said that they had requested a network feed a few times, but the satellite company had denied it. However, he said, the company was considering letting them have the feed tomorrow and Sunday. So I came back and almost went up the wall "watching" Sharapova save six match points in the second set. I knew this would be exciting, and here I was, stuck with live Web scoring.

We are going to go to dinner at the cafe tonight, and the brothers should have some news for us by then. I'm not getting my hopes up, but you never know. Also, our cable could come back on at any time, and maybe the local affiliate will even allow a CBS feed in for part of the weekend. But neither of those things is very likely.

I realize how ridiculous it sounds, being obsessed over not seeing the U.S. Open when horrible tragedy is just across the bridge, and my own yard looks like a hurricane photo feature, but there you are. Almost twenty TV sets, just down the street, and I still can't watch the U.S. Open.


I realize how ridiculous it sounds, being obsessed over not seeing the U.S. Open when horrible tragedy is just across the bridge, and my own yard looks like a hurricane photo feature, but there you are. Almost twenty TV sets, just down the street, and I still can't watch the U.S. Open.

I don't know that it is ridiculous at all. It strikes me as a desire to return to normalcy. Appartently, that is a healthy urge, and exactly what is needed for healing to begin.

A few days ago, I heard about a local family who has opened their home to a family who had evacuated from the Gulf. It seemed a generous and noble thing. Yesterday, I heard that it may not be a wise or helpful thing after all.

It disrupts the routines and familiar lifestyles of both families, routines and lifestyles that may be in conflict.

It delays the time when the visiting family can return, in so far as it is possible, to what is normal for them.

It may feel generous and noble for a host family to take them in, but what is best is for the visiting family to start over in its own apartment where its members can re-establish the familiar patterns as quickly as possible.

By Blogger Elizabeth Ann Roy, at 1:35 AM  

Diane, I think in another life you were a cricket fan.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:38 AM  

Here's the thing: Late this afternoon, it occurred to me that the U.S. Open was being shown on the UPN station. I checked, and it was. I wanted to bang my head against the wall repeatedly. I went back down to the restaurant when the Federer/Agassi match started, and told one of the brothers. He tried and tried but couldn't program the UPN station on the screens.

I was actually glad because I would have been sick if I'd known it was available the whole time and my brain was just too fried to figure it out. On the other hand, if I'd thought of it earlier, they probably could have figured out how to program the TV's.

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