Daily Post topic #15: If you had a time machine that only let you spend one hour in a different time, what date would you go to?
Piece of cake. I’m resigned to being pretty picky when it comes to which prompts I choose to respond to. I’ve got a couple ideas rolling around that I might tackle soonish, but this one is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Do I want to jump to an hour in my past? Rectify a mistake or revisit a particularly joyous occasion? Or maybe take a peek at what one of my parents was like as a child? Nope, nope and nope. Should I skip on over to another continent and check out some awesome and uplifting historical event? Not quite, but… I know *exactly* where I’d want to go.
April 14, 1912. Specifically, 11:30 p.m. on April 14, 1912, somewhere in the middle of the North Atlantic. Why, you ask? Because that was just about ten minutes before the Titanic hit the iceberg. Without question, if I could travel anywhere in time for one hour, it would be to the hour including and following the moment that the mighty ship’s fate was sealed.
I have been obsessed with the Titanic for nearly as long as I can remember. I watched the National Geographic film about Robert Ballard’s 1985 discovery of the wreckage more times than I can count. The neatly positioned pairs of shoes on the ocean floor got me every time, no matter how much I watched it. I could rattle off names of crew members and passengers without thinking. Edward Smith, Charles Lightoller and John Jacob Astor were my Jordan, Joey and Donnie. To prove my point, I actually had to Google “names of NKOTB” just now. Not so much with the other guys.
When Titanic came out in 1997, I was horrified. I remember, soon after hearing that the movie was going to be made, standing in the commons area of my high school talking with some friends about it, very agitated. My friend Helen was really confused. “But… you LOVE the Titanic. And you LOVE love stories. What’s the problem?” My airtight argument, which I stuck with right up until I sat down in the theater to watch it (for the first of approximately four times – in theaters) was, “I like chocolate chips and I like salad, but I don’t like them together.” However, my purist nature when it comes to Titanic was no match for my sappy, hormonal teenage sensibilities. As it turned out, I did LOVE the movie. I stumbled on it one night recently on television and sat transfixed and pretty much not moving until it was over.
Similarly, it was with great trepidation that I went to the Las Vegas show, Jubilee several years ago. It was my first trip to Las Vegas and my mom and I went together and had the best time. We decided to see a show at Bally’s to get the full Vegas experience. Topless showgirls, the whole bit. It wasn’t weird sexytimes topless though – more a throwback to old timey revues. There were several mini-shows within the show – all of an “historical” nature. There was a Samson and Delilah bit that was kinda odd, some other stuff I don’t remember, and then… Titanic. To be clear, I was not weirded out by seeing topless dancers sitting next to my mom. I was terrified however that they would do the Titanic stuff topless. It just seemed so tasteless and disrespectful. Thankfully, it was the one piece of the whole show where everyone was fully clothed and I didn’t have to do something silly like walk out.
So, yes – I love all things Titanic. Of all the hours in the history of everything, that first hour after the iceberg collision is where I’d want to go, no doubt. I’d want to know what it felt like when the ship hit the ice and then have an hour to wander the decks and explore, before things got absolutely insane as the enormity of the situation began to sink in for the passengers. And then I’d want to get the hell off the boat.