Caught up in the moment?

中国日报网 2014-12-16 11:45



Caught up in the moment?

Reader question:

Please explain this passage, particularly “caught up in the moment”:

Planning a wedding can be one of the most emotional times of a woman’s life. But most brides get so caught up in the moment, they don’t think about more than what their wedding dress looks like and what it costs. According to experts, that’s exactly what some shops are counting on.

My comments:

I’m afraid the main point of this passage is that shops often sell wedding dresses at exorbitant prices. But, they are usually able to get away with it – because most brides don’t mind paying the price.

They do mind, I think, had it been another occasion but on this particular occasion, arguably the most important of a woman’s life, they forget to pay any attention to things like that – whether they are charged more than right, so long as they can afford it.

That’s what being caught up in the moment means here, the exiting moment, in this case, of getting married for the first time.

In other words, they get carried away by all the happiness, excitement, nervousness, or anxiety, or any mixture of these and other emotions running high.

Anyways, to get caught up in the moment is to essentially get lost in the middle of some activity, when you are deeply involved or absorbed.

You’re so involved in it that you forget everything else around you.

For example, people talk about seeing a beautiful scene in the mountains in this way. The scene is so enchanting and mesmerizing that they get caught up in the moment in such a way that they, for instance, lose trace of time. Time flies, they say, really flies. A whole afternoon may elapse, like, in a jiffy.

Well, it’s always nice to get lost in a moment like that.

However, it may not always be so pleasant to get caught in the moment. Let’s read a few real examples of other people who are caught in the moment during other activities, happily or regretfully:

1. The fan who played in a key role in the Chicago Cubs’ collapse in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series apologized Wednesday, saying he was brokenhearted.

With the Cubs five outs from advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1945, Steve Bartman tried to grab a foul ball, preventing outfielder Moises Alou from catching it. That helped the Florida Marlins rally for an 8-3 victory to tie the NLCS on Tuesday night.

The Marlins also won Game 7 to advance to the World Series and cement Barman’s gaffe as a key moment in the Cubs’ long, sad history.

“I had my eyes glued on the approaching ball the entire time and was so caught up in the moment that I did not even see Moises Alou, much less that he may have had a play,” Bartman said in a statement.

“Had I thought for one second that the ball was playable or had I seen Alou approaching, I would have done whatever I could to get out of the way and give Alou a chance to make the catch.”

The 26-year-old Bartman, a youth baseball coach, was escorted by security guards from Wrigley Field after he was threatened by angry fans and pelted with debris.

A police guard was posted outside the suburban Northbrook home where he lives with his parents. His brother-in-law -- who read the statement to the media -- said Bartman was “hiding somewhere. He just wants to move on and he wants the Cubs to win.”

Bartman apologized to Cubs fans and ex-players, including Ron Santo and Ernie Banks.

“I am so truly sorry from the bottom of this Cubs fan's broken heart,” he said.

- Fan sorry from 'bottom of broken heart',, October 16, 2003.

2. Singing star Christina Aguilera had the eyes of the world on her as she sang the American National Anthem to kick off the Super Bowl XLV but she ended up changing an entire line of the song during her performance which was watched by millions.

Aguilera was singing the anthem at the Dallas Cowboys home stadium in Arlington Texas where the Green bay Packers faced the Pittsburgh Steelers but she ran into trouble when it came to the exact words of the anthem.

Instead of singing “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming” she instead put in her own line singing “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last gleaming.”

In a statement Christina Aguilera said: “I got so caught up in the moment of the song that I lost my place. I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of the anthem still came through.”

Although forgetting the words to the “Star Spangled Banner” maybe one of the most embarrassing on stage experiences for any singer, she is far from the first to falter under the pressure and joins the likes of Jesse McCartney who forget several verses when he sang the anthem at a NASCAR event in 2009 while Michael Bolton had to check the lyrics written on his hand to complete the song.

- Christina Aguilera improvises at the Super Bowl, February 8, 2011,

3. Fifty years ago, Bonnie Morley of Buffalo was a newlywed living in Australia. Life was good — her husband Shelby had a great job, they’d just had their first child, and they loved where they lived.

But on Nov. 22, 1963, she’d receive news that would turn everything upside down: President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.

Morley, who had been sitting under the hair dryer at the local hairdresser’s earlier that day, noticed the beauticians glancing worriedly in her direction and whispering to each other.

“When I came out of the dryer, my hairdresser said, ‘Oh Mrs. Morley, I’m so sorry to tell you your president has been shot,’” Morley said.

It took a moment for those words to sink in.


She remembered the time, three years earlier, when she got to shake the hand of the man who would become one of the most celebrated presidents in American history.

In October 1960, Morley was a sophomore at Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa, a “starry-eyed, 20-year-old apolitical idealist,” as she described herself.

“I was not a political person at all,” she said.

Her college, a private, all-girls Catholic college, received a call from Kennedy’s campaign team telling them that he was stopping at the Rock Island high school field house. They wanted 16 students from the college to make an entry corridor for Kennedy to walk through and then surround the raised platform he spoke from. Morley was one of those chosen.

“I was not sure how the selection process went, but I was thrilled to be part of the Kennedy greeters,” she said.

On the day of JFK’s visit, Morley and the other girls were at the Moline Quad City Airport for his arrival, waving their complimentary Kennedy boater hats. Later, when he arrived in the field house, she was smitten by his charm and charisma.

“He passed within three feet of us, and I didn’t even swoon,” Morley joked.

But when they were in position around the freestanding stage, the future president smiled at the girls, and when the speech was over, he shook each girl’s hand — and then she swooned.

“I was so caught up in the moment. I had to read the paper the next day to find out what the speech was about,” she said.

- JFK Remembered,, November 20, 2013





About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at:, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.



Power play?

Brick and mortar

Capturing the imagination

Stirring the pot

Foxhole mentality

Learning it the hard way

Big hat, no cattle


(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 编辑:祝兴媛)


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