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Joanne Bamberger Headshot

Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

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Nothing like an unexpected explosion and a crater the size of a van a few blocks from your hotel to snap you out of a comfy state of denial.

I love taking PunditGirl to New York City. This week we were there to get our Beauty and the Beast fix. She really enjoyed the villian, Gaston.

"He was very 'Gaston-y!' " she exclaimed.

It was a good day -- hanging out with PunditGirl and spending time with my younger stepdaughter.

We were chilling over some wine for the grown-ups and lemonade for the PunditGirl when the phone rang -- Mr. PunditMom was on the other end with an extremely worried tone.

We had no idea what had transpired just blocks from the hotel where we had stayed the night before and would be sleeping in again that night. We were relaxing and trying to decide where to go for dinner. We had toyed with the idea of eating near the hotel, but ultimately opted for lower Manhattan.

Needless to say, it turned out to be a good choice.

Most days I forget how much denial we use to get through our lives these days, thinking that nothing like Wednesday's explosion can touch our lives.

If we don't consider it, it won't happen, right? No car accidents, no diseases, no terrorists.

But without that sort of semi-delusional attitude, I know I would lose my mind. I can't even begin to imagine how I would have handled it if PunditGirl and I had just been out strolling the streets as we had been just hours earlier.

Officials are saying that we shouldn't worry about whether we were breathing any asbestos as a result of the explosion. No need to worry -- supposedly. And of course, those helicopters that were constantly circling that mid-town location all day on Thursday wouldn't suggest that possible terrorism is still on their minds, would it?

You don't have to spend too much time reading the newspapers these days to have a healthy skepticism of what we're told and what we should worry about.

I think I'll go lay in my supply of bottled water and toilet paper later today -- just in case.