I Just Called To Say I Love You

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My friend Elisabeth assures me that the new national plague of love yous is a good thing: a healthy reaction against the repressed family dynamics of our Protestant childhoods some decades ago. What could be wrong, Elisabeth asks, with telling your mother that you love her, or with hearing from her that she loves you? What if one of you dies before you can speak again? Overhearing her, as a stranger, I have the feeling of being made party to an aggressive assertion of entitlement.

Or am I, in my admittedly now rather lunatic-sounding irritation, simply projecting all this? The cell phone came of age on September 11, Imprinted that day on our collective consciousness was the image of cell phones as conduits of intimacy for the desperate.

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At nine in the morning, I got a phone call from my book editor, who, from his office window, had just seen the second plane hit the towers. I did immediately go to the nearest TV, in the conference room of the real-estate office downstairs from my apartment, and watch with a group of agents as first one tower and then the other went down. In the evening, we walked down to 42nd Street and met up with an out-of-town friend and found an unremarkable Italian restaurant in the West 40s which happened to be serving dinner.

Every table was packed with people drinking heavily; the mood was wartime. I got another brief glimpse of a TV screen, this one showing the face of George W.

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Sitting on a 6 train at Grand Central, waiting for it to move, we watched a New York commuter angrily complain to a conductor about the lack of express service to the Bronx. Three nights later, from p. The wait was not short. Footage of the attacks and the ensuing collapses and fires was shown again and again, interspersed with long segments on the emotional toll on ordinary citizens and their impressionable children. Every once in a while, one or two of us writers would have 60 seconds to say something writerly before the coverage reverted to more carnage and wrenching interviews with friends and family of the dead and the missing.

I spoke four times in three and a half hours. I could not confirm these reports. I said that the faces I had seen were somber, not angry, and I described seeing people shopping in the stores in my neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon, buying fall clothes.


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With a frown, he said that his own impression was very different: that the attacks had indeed profoundly changed the personality of New York City. Naturally, I assumed that I was speaking truth and Koppel merely retransmitting received opinion.

But Koppel had been watching TV and I had not. I was devoting energy to imagining, or resisting imagining, the horror of sitting in a window seat while your plane came in low along the West Side Highway, or of being trapped on the 95th floor and hearing the steel structure below you begin to groan and rumble, while the rest of the country was experiencing actual real-time trauma by watching the same footage over and over.

"I Just Called to Say I Love You" Lyrics

And so I was not in need of—was, for a while, not even aware of—the national televised group therapy session, the vast techno-hugathon, that unfolded in the following days and weeks and months in response to the trauma of exposure to televised images. What I could see was the sudden, mysterious, disastrous sentimentalization of American public discourse.

Unlike in, say, , when the United States responded to a terrible attack with collective resolve and discipline and sacrifice, in we had terrific visuals. We had amateur footage and could break it down frame by frame. We had screens to bring the violence raw into every bedroom in the country, and voice mail to record the desperate final calls of the doomed, and late-model psychology to explicate and heal our trauma. But as for what the attacks actually signified, and what a sensible response to them might look like, attitudes varied.

Everybody entitled to express his or her own opinion! Whether or not Saddam Hussein had personally bought plane tickets for the hijackers therefore remained open to lively debate. And everybody could share in the pain experienced by the families of the fallen cops and firefighters. And everybody agreed that irony was dead.

But competing economically? Pulling together as a nation?

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Defeating our enemies? Forming strong international alliances? Perhaps a bit of a minus side there. My parents met two years after Pearl Harbor, in the fall of , and within a few months they were exchanging cards and letters. My father worked for the Great Northern Railway and was often on the road, in small towns, inspecting or repairing bridges, while my mother stayed in Minneapolis and worked as a receptionist. The front of her valentine which my father likewise saved shows a pigtailed little girl and a blushing little boy standing beside each other with their eyes bashfully averted and their hands tucked bashfully behind their backs.

A second verse reads:. There is little enough for me to do when the contractor is working and now there is nothing at all. About the only other pastime around here is to sit in the hotel lobby and take in the town gossip, and the old timers who haunt the place can sure put it out.

You would get a kick out of it because there is sure a broad cross section of life represented here—from the local doctor down to the town drunk. And the last is probably the most interesting; I heard that he taught at the University of N. Normally the talk is pretty rough, about like Steinbeck must have used for a pattern, but this evening there came in a great big woman who made herself right at home. It all sort of makes me realize how sheltered a life we city people live.

Lyrics: I Just Called To Say I Love You

I grew up in a small town and feel quite at home here but I somehow now seem to view things differently. You will hear more of this. I hope to get back to St. Paul on Saturday night but cannot tell for certain now. My father had recently turned Where were the endearments? Where were the dreamy discussions of love? It was obvious that my father still had a lot to learn about her. To me, though, his letter seems full of love.

Stevie Wonder I Just Called To Say I Love You Lyrics

But love, too, for the larger world: for the varieties of people in it, for small towns and big cities, for philosophy and literature, for hard work and fair pay, for conversation, for thinking, for long walks in a sharp wind, for carefully chosen words and perfect spelling. The letter reminds me of the many things I loved in my father, his decency, his intelligence, his unexpected humor, his curiosity, his conscientiousness, his reserve and dignity. Late in life, my mother complained to me that my father had never told her that he loved her.

And it may literally be true that he never spoke the big three words to her—I certainly never heard him do it. More recently, when I retrieved the letters and managed to read through them all, I discovered that my father had in fact declared his love dozens of times, using the big three words, both before and after he married my mother. But throughout grade school and junior high, the words had only one meaning for me. It happened only a couple of times, in those years, that a girl I liked actually said or wrote this to me.

But when it did happen, it came as a shot of pure adrenaline. If sex were all, then every trembling hand. You will no longer be able to transmit or hear audio. Click OK below to proceed. Ensure that your computer is connected to your home router using an Ethernet cable rather than using Wi-Fi wireless access.

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