Thursday, April 18, 2013

Carrying On, or Not*

Here's today's adorableness — just when we needed it:

The news trucks are no longer parked on the Commonwealth Mall, although scattered TV crews are still filming from Newbury Street. Newbury Street is open but most of Boylston Street is still blocked off as a crime scene — and some of those businesses will be hurting if this continues much longer. But, generally, things are already getting back to normal; people walk around with a mildly defiant air, keeping their chin up. This won't cow us or even put a crimp in our style. Everything people have said about Boston being tough is true, although I suppose the same might have been said if this had happened in another American city. But then I consider the people who ran another two miles to work emergency shifts at the hospital after completing their Boston Marathon... and I find that that is "Boston" to the core. 

I skipped going to the Marathon for decades, mainly because I hate being in crowds. I used to cheer at the finish line in the 1980s, when it was a more intimate, less razzle-dazzle event. But in recent years, I've carefully avoided it. I also avoid Newbury and Boylston Streets the weekend before the Marathon because they're so busy. Like many of my neighbors, I like to walk at a "Boston" pace when I'm doing errands or getting some air. Tourists create a slow-moving obstacle course for us. (Tourists also step onto our narrow elevators and just stand there. What the hell?)

But I will be cheering my head off at close to the finish line of the Marathon next year, as long as I'm still a Proper Bostonian. How could I possibly do otherwise, now? It's the only correct response to this year's tragedy, short of actually running the race itself. 


* I have never understood how one is supposed to simultaneously "keep calm" and "carry on." Where I come from, "carrying on" involves yelling, screaming, and breaking things. I was an expert at carrying on when I was tiny. There are occasions when I wish I still had the energy. People have explained to me that "carrying on" also means "going about your business." Why use a phrase that can have such different meanings?  I prefer to imagine Brits throwing dishes and trashing furniture with quiet dignity... as I imagine myself when I was still in the tantrum business.


  1. Todays Adorableness is appreciated. I am so sorry all this terrible stuff is happening in your back yard, so to speak. Unreal. Glad you are safe and the kitties are there with you to keep you grounded.

  2. Good call on your observation about Keep Calm and Carry On. I've never really thought about it, even though I have a poster (that well pre-dates the recent fad of copies) hanging in my cube at work.

    It's only fitting that in America 'carry on' means causing a ruckus... of course our stiff-upper-lip and very-proper friends the Brits would never imagine doing such a thing. To them, carry on is more like "go about your business as usual" - but I'm sure you already knew that - and that's exactly what you're doing!

    For the record, when I am a "tourist" in Boston, I walk fast. ;) When I lived in DC the tourists would drive me NUTS so I always try to be mindful to not act like them!

  3. Toffee has become such a ruggedly handsome boy. He is Gary Cooper to elegant Harris' Cary Grant.
    I would echo Anne's sentiment about the comfort in having your kitties when the world outside goes haywire.


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