A six-something earthquake hit Mexico City on Saturday evening. Google says 6.5 or 6.8 depending on whom it asks. That’s 0.7 to 1.0 point more than the one that hit Virginia in August, where my family lives. I know lots of things can affect whether there is damage, including buildings and soil and duration of the quake. This one that hit us in Mexico doesn’t seem to have caused much harm. My power was out for a few hours, but that often happens anyway, frequently caused by nothing.

So that was around 8pm. I actually didn’t feel anything, I guess because I was at Xochimilco, the ecological swamp UNESCO World Heritage site zone in the southeastern part of the city. While not actually on the water– I think I was in a car stopped in traffic when it hit– I nevertheless felt nothing. As we heard about the news via twitter and phone calls, the people I was with and I thought maybe we didn’t feel it because of the soil being soft there.

Anyway, suffice it to say the effect of the earthquake came and went really quickly for me. By Sunday morning I had forgotten about it. Until I get this email from my mom with no text in the body, just the subject line, sent to two of my three email accounts:


I actually thought that was sarcasm, that she was annoyed because I hadn’t written in a while. When I realized what she was talking about, that she had heard about the earthquake and was actually quite worried, I got kind of annoyed.

A) Annoying that she had only just heard about it, considering cable news is on every waking hour in their household.

B) Annoying that she was so “concerned” about it, given that the news reports probably said there was no significant damage, since there wasn’t.

C) Annoying that despite her “concern,” she EMAILED ME to ask me if I am okay.

D) Annoying that 12 hours later, even if I had been affected by it, I would probably have recovered from any effect by the time she wrote me. And if I hadn’t yet recovered, my problems probably would have been pretty serious, so in that case I probably wouldn’t have gotten her email or responded to it. Yet she still emailed me in a panic.

I guess the root of my irritation is sad. I am far from home, my mom misses me and feels powerless to protect me, and I in turn feel guilty. But I also find room to blame media-propagated fear and old age, so.


Grabbed this photo from one of my favorite Tumblr accounts, Third and Delaware: Fashion Highlights from Every Single Episode of Roseanne.