Sitting Shiva for Us All

First the terrorists hit the U.S., then Riviera hits OC

A couple of hundred people turned out in the "California chic" the invitation called for. There were a couple of the principals from ad agency dGWB, Victor the Gay Russian and the Traveling Langstons. Most of the Weekly's stable of freelancers was there, having found a side gig besides OC Family or Coast magazine, as well as every art critic in town because we and Kedric Francis, Riviera's new editor in chief and my good friend, mooch at all the same museum openings.

But though I enjoyed the canapťs, and people were thoughtful, and it's nice to get a break for a bit, and no one was shouting, "USA! USA!" I don't think I stayed more than an hour and a half or so. The DJ was hip and soothing, but my television needed me. Riviera, by the way, is just as dreadful as I could hope, with lots of articles about champagne, Tiffany, extremely expensive tea parties thrown for four-year-olds, and "Why we live on the Riv." I adore it.

Anyway, that's all I did this week. Even after I stopped watching the news (about three days in) while playing a little game I like to call "Did They Confirm That?" (correct answer: no), I didn't want to leave the house. I'm sitting shiva, I suppose, and according to my Yiddish dictionary, shiva is sat for seven days. There is still mourning to be done.

My young friend Justine, who is a beautiful, extremely intelligent and aware high school freshman, went to school last week with teary eyes. Her classmates assumed she had lost someone in New York; they couldn't understand that she'd grieve for people she didn't know.

Me, I'm sitting shiva for us all. I doubt I know any of the dead; my friends in New York don't know jack about finance, and I'm not worried for their physical safety. I do worry that we'll look at this as a glamorous time—all that happened in World War II was that there were nylon shortages and lots of handsome men in uniform, right?—and not realize until too late how devastating it will be. And I worry about the water supply. I worry all the damn time. Mostly, though, I worry that we will not live up to the grace other nations have shown us this past week. Whatever our course of action, let us take it nobly—and without yahoos.

Sit shiva with the Girl:
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