Wednesday, September 10


Last week, me and the Missus decided to take a break from our busy workdays and meet downtown for lunch. Afterwards, as I was walking her back to her car, I gave her a quick smooch and continued on my merry way. Simple. Very routine, very methodical and very robotic. Indicative of two people that have done it a million times prior. Thus goes the life of a married couple, and it got me to thinking.

For the bulk of my readers that are married or in a long-term relationship, I ask you: Whatever happened to the kiss? As a teenager or someone just starting out in a passionate, physical relationship, the kiss is about the most important thing you can do. It's what you strive for. It's the reason you put on clothes, smell nice and head out the door every day. Kisses create memories, they tell stories and they change lives on a daily basis. I'd even argue that a kiss is more important than sex in a manner of speaking, provided that conditions are correct.

The first time I kissed the Missus, it was in her parents driveway after we had gone out for dinner. It was January of 2000; I was 17, she was 16. I knew that something important was about to happen, I just didn't know what, and I felt I was too self-conscious and oily to make the move. After exchanging parting glances and pleasantries, I said good night and offered her a hug. Mustering every ounce of gusto I had, I had the brilliant idea to sneak a kiss on the cheek as I released her from my embrace. She, being the more intelligent and forthright member of this unstoppable Power Duo, was having none of that, and actually turned quickly to face me, effectively turning my innocent cheek-kiss into a full-on liplock that lasted 2.4 of the longest seconds of my life.

It was, to this very day, one of the greatest moments of my entire existence. Kissing flat-out works, bitches. Considering every little disgusting thing we've done since then, I still look to that moment because it encapsulated something one-of-a-kind. Unable to be duplicated. Void of ego and fueled only by emotion. Pure beauty.

But eventually, with marriage, adulthood and the unfortunate habit of taking your lover for granted, smooching inevitably becomes the background noise in your lives. As habitual as brushing your teeth or taking a shower, kissing becomes a formality, and there are little, if any, times where a kiss can ever take you by surprise the way it once did. It's not that you don't love and cherish the person that you're with, but it's just that your hand has been played. All of your tricks have been revealed, and nothing is going to surprise him or her anymore.

Married couples just don't take the time to properly experience what a kiss is supposed to be, and I felt that I should be the one to put a stop to all of that. Not take the Missus for granted so much, and harken back to a time when we were just wide-eyed kids, making out in my car like we had just invented a new drug (Makeoutazine? Sexapan?). Furthermore, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert/idiot on the matter, and I'm far too private to talk about anything beyond first base in a public forum.

I decided that action needed to be taken immediately, so I consulted the Internet and found a veritable Kama Sutra of First Base; varying techniques, inventive offshoots and reader testimonials concerning ways to breathe new life into a dead form of romantic expression for established couples. Whether the Missus wanted to or not, I wasn't going to let anything in our still-budding marriage die out so quickly, and she became a semi-willing test subject for about a dozen different methods of smooching, ten of which I plan to share with you right now.

The following kisses and testimonials are taken directly from a article, and they have been copied without permission. My (and the Missus) thoughts will appear under each one. Enjoy.

Great New Kiss #1: The Waterfall Kiss - The next time you’re walking your date home and it starts raining, consider grabbing your sweetie and giving a long smooch, sans umbrella. The wetness of your face and lips will give this kiss an incredibly sensual vibe. Just ask Seth, 31, from New York, NY, who began making out with his girlfriend in the rain with great results: “It became increasingly wet with the rain pouring down—it was just all tongue and water and slippery and very sexy,” he recalls. “Sometimes I try to create that in the shower with the woman I’m dating now. It works, but the original was definitely better.”

The Test: We didn't want to wait until a thunderstorm to try this kiss out, but we were also too lazy to follow Seth's secondary advice and jump into the shower. Besides, we both agreed that kissing spontaneously in the rain is an entirely played-out and overrated move by people who clearly don't care about having to do a load of laundry at midnight on a Wednesday. Impractical at best, and trying way too hard to recreate an 80's movie.

That being said, we certainly started out with a winner when the time came. The Wet Kiss, historically, is very passionate, memorable and sexy, but be warned that it's exceedingly sloppy and sort of disgusting to the untrained eye (like most sexual activity, really). I've never not been a fan of this particular smooch, and it came through in a big way once the rain started pouring down on our deck. The difference between now and when we were kids was the realization that we've been married for 4 years and were sharing a moment outside of the house we now owned as a couple. More than anything, there was a feeling of sheer accomplishment, which is a universal uniter. Nothing like a water softener or furnace to really bring a couple together.

The Verdict: Two soggy and wrinkled thumbs up.

Great New Kiss #2: The Tickle-Me Kiss - For a lighter, more playful night of necking, forget about your lips for a second and try using a new tool in your kissing arsenal: your eyelashes. Fluttered against a check or temple, they’ll deliver a barely-there sensation that will leave your lover wanting more, much more. Just ask Sarah, 30, from Denver, CO. “Sometimes I tickle my boyfriend before I kiss him by batting my eyelashes lightly against his cheek. I follow with a line of soft, light kisses there. He always laughs. It’s a nice way to remind him of the fun side of our relationship.”

The Test: We already knew that we weren't fans of the 'butterfly kiss,' so it didn't really take long to determine that it's more or less a huge waste of time. I understand that as married couples become more and more used to each other, the art of foreplay tends to take an unfortunate backseat at times. In this particular situation, it was mutually agreed that this didn't qualify at all as foreplay; at best, it was something you'd do to annoy someone.

However, it's hard to do this without laughing at each other, which I guess counts for something. It is a playful and cute thing to do, and the Missus found it tender; something done to show attention while sitting around the living room (which is what I did, during the Olympics, no less). But please, for the love of God, refrain from doing this in public. Revolting in every way and worthy of a throat-punching.

The Verdict: One embarrassed, male thumb down; one slightly-pleased, female thumb up.

Great New Kiss #3: The Roundabout Kiss - The outer edges of your lips are a sensitive, but oft-ignored, area—so try revving your amour’s motor by trying this move. Trace the tip of your tongue along this periphery, a move that does wonders for Virginia Smith, 23, from New Haven, CT. “My boyfriend would kiss me on the lips and then pull away a little and run his tongue slowly along my upper lip and then my bottom lip, in a circle. Every time I tried to kiss him, he would pull away, and then go in for some more circle action. It drove me crazy, in a good way.”

The Test: The description of this kiss makes it sound like it's something more than merely licking your partner's face, which is exactly what it is. After about a minute of lapping at the Missus like a dog, I decided that she didn't deserve such treatment and we quickly crossed this ridiculousness off of our list before she peppersprayed me.

I can't see much of a redeeming quality in this sort of almost-kiss. I mean, I understand the merits, but the execution is spotty at best. Also, if you busted this out on someone who wasn't expecting it, it would almost assuredly be met with sheer, abject terror. Luckily, I tipped the Missus off about this one beforehand, lest the police be called. Be careful out there.

The Verdict: Two slobbering thumbs down.

Great New Kiss #4: The Power Kiss - Sometimes the most passionate kisses have very little to do with your mouth. Rather, it’s the commanding way you use your hands that can make sparks fly. For Heather, 29, from New York, NY, kissing hits new heights when her girlfriend grabs her just so. “She’ll pull me close when I least expect it, putting her right hand firmly around my waist and cradling the back of my head with her left hand before kissing me,” she explains. “I love that kind of kiss!”

The Test: It should be noted that the above description of this kiss was relayed by a woman about her girlfriend, which was more or less all I needed to get into the correct frame of mind to knock it out of the park (I'm sorry; I just cannot help it). I'm pretty skilled at this one, as it is my already-favorite method of reminding the Missus that she's awesome from time to time. She arrived home from work last night, and I swept her up like a kitten, cradled her cheek, locked into her eyes and just obliterated her with a Power Kiss. BOOM! Job well done; Missus left breathless, sad and confused.

The Verdict: Two thumbs way up. Groceries dropped onto floor.

Great New Kiss #5: The Ice-Cube Kiss - On a hot summer day, you can still make chills run up and down your date’s spine by popping an ice cube into your mouth or eating a Popsicle… then planting one. Take it from Laura, 28, from Englewood Cliffs, NJ, who uses frozen grapes for a chilly surprise. “Sometimes, I’ll pop a frozen grape or two into my mouth before I kiss the guy I’m dating. It makes my mouth really cold and when I kiss his neck and down his chest, he loves the way it feels—he gets goose bumps everywhere.”

The Test: A word of warning, here. When dealing with extreme temperatures, please keep all kissing above the beltline unless properly warned in advance. Hospitalization or even death may occur. Remember in the cartoons, where someone would run straight through a wall, leaving behind only their outline in the wreckage? Yeah, just like that.

I quite enjoy this one. For our most-recent test, I had been drinking a Strawberry 'Fruitista Freeze' that I had just picked up from Taco Bell after work. I think I recall this trick being taught in Classless Loser magazine, and the Missus was left feeling refreshed and hungry for Cinnamon Twists.

The Verdict: Two frozen grapes up.

Great New Kiss #6: The Keep-Away Kiss - Making your lover beg for more can be a turn-on, and there’s a way to bring this element into kissing. Nicole, 26, from Miami, FL, has mastered the technique. “After I’ve been making out hot and heavy with a guy for a few minutes, I like to pull back and look him in the eyes. At this moment the guy will usually try to make out again, but I don’t surrender the upper hand! After I’ve successfully avoided another kiss, I give him a bunch of baby kisses along his lips starting at one side and going to the other. He always swoons.”

The Test: I don't 'swoon.' Never have and never will. I'm not sure I even know what that means. Furthermore, I don't consider this to be a kiss; more like something to be done in between kissing. This one doesn't count; it's standard foreplay and nothing more.

The Verdict: Not Applicable. There will be no swooning in my house.

Great New Kiss #7: Altoid Kiss with a Twist - Those mints that you keep in your pocket can help you with more than just your breath. Try this trick for a tingling sensation, and a tasty game of hide-and-seek. Karen, 35, from New York, NY, explains how she makes this work for her: “I tuck a spearmint Altoid in the back of my cheek and he tries to pull it into his mouth with his tongue. It makes for some good, deep kissing.” It adds a cool feeling to your kiss, and as Karen adds, “It's a fun way to ensure some lengthy foreplay.”

The Test: This is disgusting. I recall doing this a few times as a teenager with gum, but seriously, it's a pretty gross thing to do, hard candy or otherwise. Kissing can be a lot of things to a lot of people, but a tongue-administered Strep test isn't one of them. At least, for me.

You need to be in a fairly specific mood to make this feel like anything other than work. 'Playful' is the first one that springs to mind; a word that I would (thankfully) never use to describe myself and the Missus. Nonetheless, the absurdity of the kiss itself made us giggle, and I can assure you that when you're attempting to do this while laughing, it's nearly impossible.

The Verdict: Two minty thumbs in the middle, but a fun thing to do at parties, I suppose.

Great New Kiss #8: The Breathless Kiss - Many couples claim the scent of their sweetie is quite an aphrodisiac. If you agree, you’ll love this kiss, which actually involves no lip-to-lip contact, but instead zooms in on those heady aromas. Laura, 28, from New Haven, CT, explains why she loves this technique: “We’ll take long, deep breaths and move around each other’s bodies as if we’re kissing the other person, but we’re not using our lips,” she explains. “In many Asian cultures, it’s customary not to kiss with your lips, but to ‘sniff’one another, and — I have to say — it is very sensual.”

The Test: I fully understand why this is a turn-on, but the description makes us all sound like nothing more than canines. Also, I don't care what constitutes a kiss in other cultures, but this ain't it for sure.

The Verdict: Not applicable. The Missus always smells like sandalwood and sexy.

Great New Kiss #9: The Sugar Smooch - Food and kissing can be a great combination, but let’s just say that certain snacks are better-suited than others—and one of the best is marshmallow fluff. Why? It’s sweet, smooth, and melts in your mouth (so you won’t have to swap a big gob of food). Try this playful marshmallow move by M.W., a 26-year-old from New York, NY. “My guy and I do this thing where he puts a little dollop of marshmallow fluff onto his tongue and we start to kiss,” she explains. “The fluff melts easily in the heat of our mouths and what once was sticky becomes deliciously slick and sugary.”

The Test: Marshmallow Fluff used to be my best friend. I would treat it like some kids would treat pot: I always had a stash on me, my friends would get together, pass it around and watch MST3K, and it ultimately led to our overall stupidity and weight gain. I would usually buy a pack of M&M's, and stir them right into the Fluff jar, scooping out the delicious concoction with a spoon. Those were the days.

Then, I got older. More of a punk. Started hating stuff. Became a vegetarian and shunned all things gelatin, which included all marshmallow foodstuffs and Jell-O. Said goodbye to Fluff and never looked back.

The Verdict: I miss Fluff so bad.

Great New Kiss #10: The Stop-and-Go Kiss - This kissing game will get you steaming up the windows of your car in no time: When driving somewhere, promise to smooch every time you’re waiting at a red light. Whether you’ve got time for a full-blown make-out session or just a peck on the lips, it certainly beats just sitting there waiting impatiently, plus it can become a sexy new aspect of your relationship. As Erez Rotem, 30, of Brooklyn, NY, reports, “We just started doing it one day and now it’s become a sweet little tradition.”

The Test: At first glance, this seemed to me like a grownup version of the somewhat racist-named teenage game, 'Chinese Fire Drill.' Only this time around, it won't end with my friends leaving me for dead at the intersection of 9th ave and Mason, only to be driven home by the cops three hours later. Or maybe it would; how should I know?

We decided to test this the last time we wene grocery shopping, which is one of the few times during the course of a week that we ride in the same car together. It was then that we realized that there's only one stoplight between our house and the Copp's Food Center, and it just so happened to be green.

When we got in the parking lot, I leaned over and kissed her cheek anyway, just like I tried to do almost 9 years ago. And just like 9 years ago, she turned her head and planted one on my lips.

The Verdict: I'm a lucky guy. Furthermore, the Missus just reminded me that there's no gelatin in marshmallow Fluff.

Kiss off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Remember when we all used to play "stoplight" tag? I think you hurt yourself getting back into the car because I had already started driving by the time you started to hop back in. The Chinese Firedrill mention reminded me of that. Sorry...I hope you suffered no lasting damage.

By the by...I hope that you and your fluff will be very happy. :)
I've actually taken the day off to get reacquainted with it.

Estimated Time Of Projected Heartattack: Three Weeks.
You know, I was thinking about this on Monday, actually, because it was 1 am and my husband and I were going to bed, and I rolled over and said, "Did we even kiss each other at all today?" Neither of us could remember. How sad is that? Kisses just got lost and forgotten in between scooping up the cat poop and risking jail time for cocktails.

Nevertheless, I think we still have some pretty fantastic kisses on a regular basis. I, too, am a big fan of the Power Kiss (whether giving or receiving), but I also like the kind of kiss that starts out as so-so, but then one of you just really revs it up out of nowhere, sort of a variation of the Power Kiss. You know, kind of going, "No, screw this minimalist kissing shit; when I kiss you I'm going to KISS you."
BERRYJO - Yes! Exactly! This is precisely what I was thinking about when I wrote this. Sometimes, you need to take a step back and devote a few seconds to innocent emotion. It's not that the fire is gone or anything, it's just that things get lost in the shuffle from time to time. As we get older, we can't lose The Kiss. Revive it! Welcome it back!

Good call on the slow-build Power Kiss. "Forget it; I'm taking control of this situation, post haste."
I really could of done with this post about a week ago... much angst...
Being a teenager sucks, Carrot. :)

I want to kiss that hampster in the picture. So cute!
Oh lord, marshmallow fluff...I remember making little sandwiches with that, Ritz crackers, peanut butter, and chocolate syrup.

How I'm not diabetic is kind of amazing, but to be fair, I gave that sort of thing up years ago.

CDP - Enjoy your day off!

As for kissing, I am happy to report that, even 4 years in, me and the man are ardent supporters of the move. I hope to continue this trend for the rest of our lives. :)
DUFF - It's rough, man; I know. You did read my book, right? :)

EMILY - I'm being productive with my day off, in that I've already cleaned the house, hit the local coffee shoppe for breakfast and read a slew of comic books. I'll probably do some writing this afternoon and take a goddamn nap.
I love that picture of the hampster (, is that actually a hamster, because I'm worried that it is in fact a rat? And...the caption is missing a letter...)

All this talk of marshmallow fluff has reminded me that I have marshmallow ambrosia salad waiting for me at home. Come on, quittin' time!
It may actually be a mouse. It looks very much like my mouser Rose that I used to have.
I think there's an echo in here.
I was dating a girl for a number of years, and we got our hands on a book describing a bunch of good and bad ways to kiss. After exhausting the good ones, we shrugged and started working our way through the bad ones.

We got a lot more mileage out of the doorknob kiss and the carp kiss than we ever did from the good ones.
I've learned that the bad stuff is usually the most fun. lulz.

In fact, we should try our hands at inventing a few new ones.
There are two ways to go about Bad Kissing R&D: the way where your partner is aware of it ahead of time, and the way that's hilarious
And sometimes, hilarious is way better.
CDPeons: Where were you and what were you doing seven years ago, today?
Carp kiss? This intrigues me.

Seven years ago, I was home from school and sleeping, because I had horrible cramps. I heard the news coming from downstairs on the TV, and I thought I was dreaming it up.
MOE - Hathery's serious; she pretty much slept right through the whole thing.

I was 19, and working at the hardware store. I heard about the first attack on the radio and thought it was some single-engine accident. When the second attack went down, we all finally realized the severity and ran into the auto repair waiting room to turn on the television.

Some people stood around, completely stupified. Some cried, others just quietly left work for the day. That night, I went back to the hardware store to get gas for my car (I was legit empty; not buying into the panic), and saw a line going down the street and around the corner. I went in and helped my manager check people out late into the night until we ran completely out of gas.

I then went home, where I didn't sleep for three days.
I was on my way to a job interview. When I heard the news, I called to see if they still wanted to continue with the interview.

They did, and the guy was a real ass. I got the job, but that should have tipped me off that it would suck.
I was 20. When the first plane hit, I remember telling my best friend that someone accidentally ran into the WTC. Like you, when the second hit, my stomach wound up in my throat. I had initially called said friend to see if he saw Ed McCaffrey break his leg the night before. The rest of the day had me and my fellow co-workers staring at a TV, completely stunned. The office had never been so quiet, and never will be again.
I was running a launch at a boatyard between trips out to sea. We ran to our cars to listen to the radio broadcasts. I remember how disturbing it was listening to the calls and reports. The yard owner went home to watch it on tv and told us about the horrible things he saw before telling us to get back to work.

He also was a complete ass.

Funny how major events like that can make the assholes of the world raise their hands so that you might know them.
moe: I was asleep when it happened and, given the life I was leading at the time, might well have missed the whole thing. But my one of my roommates left the TV on before he left the house so I'd see it when I finally got up.

hathery: For the carp kiss, you open your mouth really wide, bug your eyes out like a fish, and then open and shut your mouth fairly mechanically like a horrible garbage-eater fish who doesn't care what falls down the hole. Your partner does the same. Face each other and tilt your heads to the side (one to your right, one to your left), and mash your mouths into each other. Hopefully your blind chomping will sync up.

For bonus points, conscientiously cover your teeth with your lips so no one gets hurt. I also strongly recommend making the horrible "gnar gnar gnar" noise that I imagine carp would make if they made noise.
My neighbor's birthday is today. Her brother was in the tower and was able to help a pregnant woman down the stairs and outside. He says the image of the rescue workers passing him on the stairs is something he'll never forget.

I had lunch at the restaraunt at the top of the south tower in '99. It was the first time I tried sushi. That's probably what I think about most. The poor waiters and bus boys that were on the top floor when the planes hit. Just getting ready to serve lunch, non-professionals that could have worked at any other restaraunt in NY.
...we hope, dude.

The gas station owners that gouged people that day should really be ashamed of themselves.
The beginning of my last comment was directed at Moe, by the way.

MICHAEL D/MISSUS - The Carp Kiss needs to be experimented with tonight. I demand it.

BLU - Although the Missus absolutely hates it, I felt it necessary to watch the 'official' 9/11 documentary that went into the buildings and was right in the fray that day. And you're right; as much as I'm not entirely down with knighting people as 'heroes' and whatnot, the fact that these men and women ran into that building without thinking twice is just astounding in a way that really needs to be pondered for a moment.
Seven years ago today I was sleeping when the first attack happened (I worked a mid shift at that time). My mom called and told me to turn on the tv, and I was watching and talking to my mom as the second attack happened. That's when we knew it wasn't an accident. My mom was too upset to talk at that point and my boyfriend (now husband) called from work. I can't entirely remember (some parts of that day seem really fuzzy in my memory) but I think we were on the phone together when the buildings collapsed.

I got a call from work later in the day, saying that they were going to a live feed - I believe it was the first and only time they've ever gone off-line like that in the history of HSN - and that I could opt out of going in that day (a lot of people had already called off, apparently). I chose to go to work. They put the feed into one of the big screens on the set as we all spent the evening cleaning up the the studio staging areas and talking about what had happened.

I was also a couple months pregnant at the time, and very sad to think of the state of the world I was bringing my child into.

A former coworker sent an e-mail to me from friends of his who had a family member - a NYC firefighter - who died during the rescue efforts, and I watched broadcast of the Pentagon memorial this morning.

(My employer has created a page that carries live feeds from CNN, C-Span and the Discovery networks...I was engrossed in CERN/LHC programming yesterday, and it is a testament to my work ethic - or what's left of it - that I will get any work done at all now that I know I can just watch The Science Channel (!) all day...)
MAUS - The Science Channel rules. It always makes me feel really insignificant, which is oddly reassuring sometimes.

I like that we're sticking to personal reflections today, instead of all the other crap that needn't be discussed. Let's try to keep it that way.
This is the only "Where Were You" moments our generation has. I too think it's good that we reflect...
I was a sophomore in college. I slept through the first attack, and possibly the second (I've never been sure if what I saw after I woke up was live or endlessly repeating). I was living in the dorms and there was only one other person up. She came into the bathroom while I was brushing my teeth and was just kind of mumbling nonsensically about an airplane and the WTC. I still remember the look on her face: she was just so confused, like she didn't even know what she was saying. I'm hearing impaired and she had a tiny voice, so I could only make out every third word or so anyway, so it just didn't make any sense. She gave up trying to explain and just grabbed me by the arm and took her into her room to see the TV. We watched for about 30 seconds and then saw the 2nd plane hit. A few minutes later I just walked out of the room without saying anything to go be alone and watch my own TV.

I remember that I called my mom at work to ask her if she had seen the TV and she said, "It's all we've been doing all morning." She told me that my dad was on his way home from work (he worked an hour away) and that there was a chance they were going to drive down to pick me up from college because he didn't want the family split apart if another attack happened and martial law was declared or something that would keep them from getting to me. I almost lost it then because I couldn't imagine myself just sitting at home all day for weeks watching the TV with nothing to keep my mind off of things. Terrible how that's what got to me, isn't it?

When I heard about the Pentagon I really lost it because I had a friend living in Washington at the time. I was trying to call her to make sure she was okay and I couldn't find her phone number (remember when you didn't have all your friends' numbers in one handy cell phone?). I tore my room apart trying to find this damn number because I was certain that if I didn't call her she'd be dead. Like, as if the act of me calling would save her or something. I never did find it but I checked AIM and she had put up an away message saying she was safe and that her parents had been visiting and were going to have to extend their visit because they couldn't get out of the city.

I remember thinking, "We're at war," and wondering if my fiance or brother would have to go to war. I talked to my parents that night, but took more comfort from my brother. Our parents had seen terrible things happen before; I don't think they were in as much shock as we were. It was odd to hear my big brother sounding so unsure and bewildered, but oddly comforting, somehow.
hathery: For the carp kiss, you open your mouth really wide, bug your eyes out like a fish, and then open and shut your mouth fairly mechanically like a horrible garbage-eater fish who doesn't care what falls down the hole. Your partner does the same. Face each other and tilt your heads to the side (one to your right, one to your left), and mash your mouths into each other. Hopefully your blind chomping will sync up.

and this is different from a normal kiss HOW? :)

Ryan, on 9/11 I was w/ you when you went to work at night. We had went to get gas in Butte des Morts, but the line was so long we couldn't (You actually needed gas!) We decided to drive to the co-op where we figured things would be quiet...wrong. People were hoarding supplies like it was Armageddon, so you decided to stay. I was forced to feign interest in all the bird feeders and decorative lawn items until it was okay to leave.
Wow. Thanks so much, Berry Jo.

"There was a chance they were going to drive down to pick me up from college because he didn't want the family split apart if another attack happened and martial law was declared or something that would keep them from getting to me."

Spoken like someone who has lived through the perils of war before. Had the attacks on the Pentagon and (attempted) White House had caused as much damage as planned, you just might have seen that happen.

Another thing I remember were the skies being completely free of aircraft for weeks. Not a plane in sight for days and days.

For those who were in school/college at the time; how was it handled? Did places close down?
I was at school the day of the attacks, but the next day basically every class at school we just spent watching CNN.
HATHERY - Indeed. I couldn't just leave my boss there like that with all those scared people, hours after closing time. It felt like Jericho at that moment; had he tried to close the doors, he seriously might have gotten hurt.

Like I said before, it wasn't until the Co-Op was drained of gasoline that we could barricade the pumps and go home.
You know who I really want to chime in on this? Carrot Duff. Not only was he in the UK at the time, but he was probably all of 7 years old. I want to hear that perspective.
I was at Ohio University. We did not close down; classes were not even canceled for that day, though very few people went to class. I had a 10 am German class and I actually emailed my professor to let her know I wouldn't be there. I still remember the wording, "Due to recent events I will not be in class today." I remember it because I remember wondering how to say, "Because the world as I know it has just been shattered, I will be unable to make it to your insignificant class this morning." I remember that she emailed the class later that night encouraging us all to not let it prevent us from living our lives, to not let it consume us. She was actually German, but the words she chose were comforting, because she was clearly affected by the attacks just as much, but wasn't trying to play it off like she really had the full impact of what it meant to us as Americans. It kind of felt like, "OK, this isn't just us. The world is with us on this."

The college didn't close down at all, but I think it was good that way. People needed to be out and doing things, and not just sitting at home watching the news all day. I think people were generally grateful that we kept living life as normally as we could.

I remember passing ROTC people on campus and looking at them in a whole new way. I mean, what were they going through? You know that most of them signed up for the benefits involved, and probably without real thought to actual war. Sure, you consider that when you sign up, but having never lived through it, it's not real and then all of a sudden, being in ROTC isn't just about being a college student with a uniform and some training exercises.
I talked to someone who was in a small town in Europe that day. It was surreal. I don't remember where the town was -- France I think -- but it's a funny place already. They play the American national anthem every day at noon from the town square out of gratitude for the US liberating them in WWII. So that was already a little odd, and then the folks who lived there heard about the attacks before the American tourists did. So there were people who didn't speak English very well trying to explain what happened to people who didn't speak French very well, and everyone was stressed out and confused. People were hugging them and, at first, they didn't know why.
Great stuff guys, I know I appreciate everyones stories and experiences. I hope everyone else does.

I don't mind that there are some people who join ROTC programs just for the benefits. Honestly, all the military asks is that you do your job. They need toilet paper clerks and uniform providers as much as frontline commanders.
Oh, I hope I didn't come across as sounding like I have anything against joining a military program for the benefits involved. I only meant that it must be tough to have the reality of being in the military thrust upon you like that.
BERRY JO - I remember the big thing was for everyone to get back to a state of normalcy and at least attempt to not be a zombie, but man, it was hard. For a good two days, people were just milling around like their lives just got thrown into purgatory or something. People just standing in the street and whatnot. That was the feeling, the real feeling, of the world completely changing in an instant.

Oh, and Blustacon totally gets you. I can't imagine that feeling; like, all of a sudden, you were on the clock. What a terrifying shock, in addition to the already mounting insanity. "Damn. We're at war."

MICHAEL D - What an interesting city. It's a shame that it takes such tragedy to instantly unite (if only for a little while).
I, too, slept through the damn thing. I was a sophomore in college, and didn't have class until 1pm that day, so naturally I was sleeping in. My roommate pounded on my door around 9am and said "Someone bombed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, get up!" and in my sleepy stupor I thought it had to be a joke. Then I wandered downstairs and sat in front of the TV for a few hours, in complete disbelief. I called my dad and he had watched it all live on TV that morning, so we chatted quietly for awhile.

I did go to campus that day, and my professor told us all we could go home and spend time with family or reflect. I bumped into a friend who was National Guard Reserve, and he'd gotten a call while sitting in class that morning, calling him up for duty--which was surreal.

And then that night I watched the gas station across the street start hiking up its prices every few minutes. Jerks.

At the time, my best friend was doing Semester At Sea, and they were in the middle of their initial Pacific crossing when the attacks happened. She said that once they arrived in Japan, everyone was asking after their families and checking to make sure they were OK. The Japanese people were extremely solicitous, which kinda made me feel warm n' fuzzy. The really interesting bit, though, is that their trip was originally supposed to take them up through the Suez Canal, but obviously that wasn't the hottest idea anymore so they ended up getting re-routed around Africa and got to go to Cuba and meet Fidel Castro...which may be ironic, but I'm not sure.
Interesting stuff; thanks for sharing.

The gas gouging, or any gouging for that matter, is such an evil, greaseball thing to do in a time of confusion. I hope that the bulk of those people got the crap fined out of them.

I find it interesting to hear the stories from Americans who happened to be in another country at the time. It must have been surreal on a whole other level.
I know what you mean. When I me t my next ship the following January the Mate I was relieving (as well as other crew) hadn't been home since the attack. Everything they had on the ship was aquired over the radio and through foriegn news agencies in port. I couldn't imagine spending months without the blanket news coverage we got at home.
Right. If there was ever a time where you wanted to know every detail about something immediately, that was it. My anxiety would have been through the roof.
Thanks for sharing your stories on this day of reflection, CDPeons. Have a splendoriforous evening.
Thanks for getting things going, Moe. Have a good one.

Thursday night? Hmmm, I guess I'll probably watch Mythbusters and Destination Truth that I taped from last night, work a little bit on TV Week and that's probably it.

I enjoy Thursday nights; they're pretty dead times at CDP Headquarters. No guests (not that I don't like them, of course), no decent TV (for a few more weeks, at least) and the joy in knowing that I don't have to wear a tie to work the next day.

I'm a simple man.
Sorry I've taken so long to comment. I've been reading the comments, and I thought I'd leave you guys to it. It's great that there are places like this we can just come to talk.

CDP - I'm going to be brutally honest with you man, it's not something I have a clear recollection of. I have a very vague memory of sitting in the lounge on my GameBoy, when my mum came in and said something important was on the news. Apart from that I really don't remember a thing. I suppose the human mind can be a little like that sometimes.

My heart goes out to you all.

DUFF - Thanks for the kind words; I'm really proud of the CDP today, in that we have the smartest, sharpest, funniest, silliest and yet classiest and most compassionate forum on the Internet. I didn't make it that way, either; everyone did.

No shame in not remembering; I feel that same way about the Challenger explosion in 1986. I remember that something happened, but I can't tell you anything else that happened to me that day.
I vaguely remember the Challenger explosion. I think that until you're in your early tenns, you probably only really comprehend deaths and disasters that directly influence your life.
My husband remembers the Challenger explosion very clearly. For whatever reason, the event created more of an indelible impression on him than it did on me. I think my parents might have sheltered me from some of it, but I can't be sure.
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I don't remember the Challenger explosion, but it's a really important day to me personally. We were living in Florida and my dad worked at the Space Center. (I remember going to see the shuttle launch several times and could have easily been present for that one.) The only people who were closer than he was to it as it happened were the ambulance crews they always have standing by. He had to walk past the families of the astronauts and the teacher who was on board on his way back to his desk. My dad is a very even-keel guy, but when he talks about it you see the effect it had on him. I think that was part of what made him stop liking his job at NASA. He still sends out an email every year on the anniversary, reminding us all to take a moment to think about the people who were on board and then lists all their names. I wish that I could remember it, but really more for his sake than for the victims, if that's not too terrible to say. I mean, I think of the victims every year, but seeing what it does to my dad, I wish I could shoulder that pain a little more for him.
I'm fairly certain my parents sheltered me from it. I probably would have gotten scared about letting Dad go back to work if I'd known about it at the time.
Berry Jo, that's a really interesting, yet sad, story. That's awesome that your Dad works (or worked) for NASA. I was 4 at the time, but I do remember seeing it live.

New post tomorrow to close out the week.
Huh...I forgot tomorrow was Friday. Thank you, CDP!

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