Open Thread

Flashback Monday OT: 2001

For most people in the U.S., I imagine, one date stands out more so than all the others in 2001. But since it’s July, let’s take a look at that year before life in the U.S. changed forever that fateful September morning.

The summer of 2001 I remember well because it’s the summer I got married. It was also the summer of my ten year high school reunion, and the month of July was the first month off from working I’d taken since graduation college six years earlier (yes, I was a teacher, but that meant at least one part-time job every summer).

I remember feeling like an adult, after all, I’d been out of high school for TEN long years. I was approaching thirty, and thinking being a grown up was pretty damn cool. My ten year reunion was a fun night, spent with friends I ate lunch with for most of my high school career. Only instead of brown bagging it, we had a catered dinner, with alcohol. Yes, being a grown up was damn fine indeed.

This month, I will attend my 20th high school reunion and celebrate my tenth wedding anniversary. A lot has happened since the summer of 2001, in my life and in the world at large.

What do you remember about the summer of 2001? Have you ever attended a high school reunion?

25 replies on “Flashback Monday OT: 2001”

In the summer of 2001, I was twelve and going into eighth grade that fall. I went to summer camp and read all the books I could get my hands on and was taller than all the other girls I knew! The year ahead was going to be a tumultuous one of learning about places outside my little Toronto-area bubble and having huge fights with a close friend after her brother killed himself and her depression manifested for the first time (of many, these days).

Ten years later, she and I have finally reconnected and she’s still struggling with her mental health, but in a better place than when we were kids.

Graduated high school and I remember my friends and I spent a lot of time at a local coffee shop before we all went our separate ways in September.

This year is our 10 year reunion, but I don’t think anyone is planning anything as far as I know. I feel like facebook killed any urgency to have reunions since you can look most of your classmates up and get the general sense of what they are doing with their lives.

The summer of 2001 was my last summer at home before starting college. I had a great vacation shortly after graduating high school (my first ever cruise). I remember that I fought with my mom constantly because she expressed her sadness at my going to college far away as anger. And she kicked me out of my room in June, so I had to sleep on the couch all summer. I was working at a law firm. And I was very, very excited to be escaping to Boston at the end of the summer. That other date you referenced? It was the 2nd week of my freshman year of college, and in many ways (like marking the end of my childhood), it represents the line of before and after for me.

This is going to be depressing, but the summer of 2001 was the worst of my life. I was so depressed that I looked physically ill. I was coming home from my first year of college which had been an epic shit show. I was supposed to stay over the summer but ended up having to go to the hospital and then go home. Later that summer I learned that my college had kicked me out. Ugh it was terrible. This week is actually about the anniversary of me coming home. I would never wish that summer on my worst enemy.

I was back in school, in my mid twenties, and working at the library. My parents had renewed their wedding vows, which is ironic, because their marriage would have completely unraveled by the next summer (to the point my mother left the country) as a direct result of the events of 9/11.

The family Slay was living with my parents after a really concerted guilt effort to have us move closer to their home (we had been living in New England, with plans to move to Washington State after I got a full ride into Evergreen). We had planned to just stay here for as long as it took me to get my BA — it’s been 11 years now, and we’ve bought a house, so I guess we’re probably going to be here for a while.

After graduating high school in May 2001, my friends and I went on one of those all-party-and-beach-and-sunshine-all-the-time holidays in Spain. I also went on vacation to Italy with my parents for a bit. I worked the summer at my regular weekend job in a department store. My best friend and I would fake being ill, swing by the grocery store to pick up some cheap wine and cheese, and hang out at the lake. I prepared to move out of my parents house, because I was going to college in a different city. My mom and I went shopping at Ikea for new things for my new, grown-up, ridiculously tiny room. It was a long and mostly uneventful yet fun summer.

I’d just finished a year in school where nothing much was required of us, so my friends and I had spent the year drinking and staying out late, a habit we continued that summer. I was also seeing my first serious boyfriend, and got my first job where I was AMAZED by all the money I had, but regretted missing out on the last carefree summer I could’ve had.

Oh Transition Year. What did I do for an entire year of my life? I have absolutely no recollection of it. Weirdly enough given that I had fuck all to do, I think I was pretty miserable that year (indeed, perhaps that’s why).

Also, that was the summer I went on the Pill and my boobs became GIANT and I was really, really awkward in all my clothes. Good times.

And we missed out on our obligatory trip to Somewhere Down the Country because of Foot & Mouth disease that year. And I missed the replacement trip because I was on crutches. But I did learn a lot about my body’s interaction with vodka, so…

Ah we did go Somewhere Down the Country (Delphi adventure centre in Galway, god help us), but the trip was in February and you remember it snowed that year? Yeah. Fun trip. For some reason on top of it being TY we also had a million substitute teachers that year, so school was even more of a joke than ever. The tough-man TY coordinator/Geography teacher left in like October, and his replacement was a nice guy who was pretty easy to push around. Then the nice guy replacement got injured, and we had this completely bizarre 100-odd year old fella for a while instead. My abiding memories of that year mostly involve tormenting substitutes and watching a lot of films when they couldn’t figure out what else to do with us (I think the only film my school had was Gladiator and we watched it over and over again, along with a nice video from about 1973 with Gerry Ryan talking about how great the EEC was).

Ah, it sounds like you did some important learning! I think we hadn’t quite got to vodka yet; that was the year we discovered Baileys and schnapps. We used to drink until someone threw up, then for some reason do the same again the next weekend. So classy (still can’t drink Baileys). Though that was also the year that my friend, a future Chemistry PhD, learned how to make absinthe in his basement and we used to just wander around Temple Bar drinking it out of water bottles on Saturday afternoons. Seriously, what did I do with my youth?

We watched a terrible video about the aphrodisiac effects of the blue lotus on the Ancient Egyptians.
Bailey’s? You were brave:)
I probably saw you in Temple Bar back in the day so! I would have been wearing stripy tights and possibly something with fishnets….

You know, I’ve a feeling we may have moved in the same circles. I’d have been wearing too much black eyeliner (a bad habit I retain to this day), and probably pigtails, and ridiculously baggy jeans. Dear god, the early 2000s were a terrible time.

Oh the Central Bank. So many memories. Tell me, do kids with too many feelings still congregate there like we did?

Sally J. Friedman – we can’t help it, it’s like a biological imperative for Irish people to establish how they know one another from back in the aul village (or in our case the slightly bigger village of Dublin). And to confirm stereotypes about teenage binge drinking, of course.

Yes, definitely. Although now more of them seem to have skateboards and Bendini&Shaw is a pizza place.

(PS: trying to send you a PM…not working so far but keep an eye out!)

Sally J. – it’s the Irish 2 degrees of separation. Can’t be helped!:)

I had just graduated high school and was planning the big move to the campus. I’m pretty sure that in July we had our introDUCKtion (UO!) and my mom and I stayed in the dorms for the night (part of the experience I guess).

And… naturally, we ditched the tour to go mill around the buildings we thought were cool. Imagine the episode where Rory and Lorelai go to Harvard in The Gilmore Girls. Almost like that. Except, I didn’t sit in a class, be all super smart and impress Hiro (HIRO!). We did scope out Greek Row though. That was fun. :)

(The day I set aside to pack my room up and get ready to official move was the day my father came into my room, woke me up, turned on my TV, and sat on my bed as we watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center – so, I’m actually pretty happy that I remembered July 2001 just now… a lot of that summer is a blur…)

This is the first time I’ve been able to comment on Flashback Monday; it’s the first summer I can clearly remember. I was twelve and it was my last summer at this art and theater camp I had been going to since I was seven, when I had met my best friend. The two of us terrorized the counselors by sliding down these really long banisters–they were like, two stories high, we could’ve been killed–and skipping tennis. It was the last summer of true childhood that I remember.

Summer of 2001: my first summer in my apartment with my (now) husband. We ended up staying there ten and a half years. My “dream” job was quickly becoming a nightmare, and I spent much of that summer crying every night because my job was so awful. And I was constantly traveling that summer, all up and down the East Coast. I actually was on a business trip to Norfolk, VA for Sept. 11th, scheduled to fly home that morning. I stayed at that job for another year and a half, but really should have left way earlier.

It was pretty bad. I ended up being stranded in Norfolk for four days, and having my company’s travel desk try to find me a way home that whole time (I was the only person traveling on the East Coast at the time). They finally located me a giant boat of a Buick rental car, and I drove the 15 hours back to New England: around D.C., through NYC, in pretty much the most emotional and exhausted state I’d ever been in. The were checking cars at the entrance to the GWBridge, and I was just bawling my eyes out, because I’m terrified of bridges and they were looking for bombs, and the skyline was all fucked up, and, yeah.

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