Friday, March 04, 2005

Lifecycles, Part 2

On Sundays, we get the New York Times. I'm coming up on my 19th anniversary in San Francisco, but it's one of those New York habits I cannot and will not break. What has changed in the years I've been getting the NYTimes is what I read and in what order.

I used to hit the magazine section first, then the book review, the Arts & Leisure, and then sports, which in the national version used to have the lifestyle columns in the same section. These days, I hit the Styles section first. Why? My Sunday isn't really complete until I read the wedding announcements.

Up until a few years ago, we only got a profile of one wedding. Now, in additon to the quarter page profile, we get 2-4 pages of announcements, depending on the season. Ocassionally there's a notice of someone famous, or a child of someone famous, but for the most part it's just regular people. I don't know them. Again, as in my last post, we ask the question--why do I read them?

I think it's like reading a series of short stories every week. Sometimes there are lots of details--where they met,who set them up, how they felt about each other at first. In some stories we even get a bit of dialogue. Most of them have photos--some very staged, some a bit more casual. I try to get a feel for the couple from their smiles and their body language. And then there's the info on their parents--together, divorced, occupations. All feed into the storylines.

Sometimes there is very little data given, but enough to fill in the blanks. Did the family go into crisis when an O'Malley married a Goldberg, or a Chin married Thurston III?

I could go on and on. Like reading the obituaries, I wonder about the voyeur quality in me. But then, I also think, as with the obituaries, it's another way to honor life--everyone's life. I get to share in these couples celebration. I get to be someone else who wishes them good luck and hopes for the best.......

1 comment:

kate said...

I do the same thing every week. I live in Ohio and have gotten the Sunday Times for about a year now. I always read the Styles section first. If not for the article on some radom facet of New York nighlife, but always for the wedding announcements. My favorite thing is to look for for all of the women who are keeping their names professionally. Most of the time, their names sound ridiculous with their partners name attached. Kind of a Julia Gulia scenario. I think they the names 'professionally' to save themselves from the embarrassment.
Anyway, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has a regular routine with the Times.

Sidenote: Did you see the article lastweek about the lady who lost her husband when he died suddenly one night after a party at the Tavern on the Green? How depressing. Who writes this stuff?