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.......