I can’t help it. I know it makes me a Cathy cartoon but I read the wedding announcements in the NY Times on Sunday. Arrrrrggg! I’m ashamed to be seen doing it if I’m reading the paper outside – I don’t want to look like the harpee who’s doing the whole single woman’s sports page thing. Actually, I couldn’t care less about all the kids of bankers and lawyers and the society/money crap. There’s only two or three good announcements a week, and those are the ones with stories about how people meet. I like all the stories, even though most are run of the mill: people met through a friend of a friend, people met at a party. But then there are the interesting ones: they went to elementary school together and didn’t meet again till they were 65; two lonelyhearts single forty somethings were on a biking trip in Finland and fell madly in love. There was once an announcement for a woman named Candy Beagles that made my year – not just because her name is Candy Beagles, and not just because she’s a lawyer for the American Kennel Club, but because she was a never married gal in her late thirties or forties who met her husband when he pulled up alongside her in traffic (check it out here).
Anyway, these are the good ones. But then there are the really bad ones. Stories of people meeting that include details that essentially tell you these people are fucking awful. On the lighter side of the spectrum are the ones that mention the people who met and were immediately into each other, although one or both of them were dating other people at the time. Is it just me, or wouldn’t you feel absolutely terrible if you happened to be the “other person” they were dating? To know you were into some dude or chick and not only did you get dumped, but then you’re a footnote in their NY Times love story? Fuck you! I read one years ago about two people who met on a plane – the chick was going home to Atlanta and the guy was going there on business. He totally had a girlfriend but hit it off with plane chick. Then the piece goes on to say that he ends up meeting up with her for lunch every time he’s on business in Atlanta for the next year – but he’s still phasing out of his old relationship! What a douche! I couldn’t help but think of the poor “ex” woman reading about her former boyfriend flirting it up while she thinks he’s just down South shuffling papers. The main comfort was that their wedding announcement picture was one of those birds-eye view deals of them lying in a cheesy pile of fricking autumn leaves. I wished I could call ex and say, “Dude – they’re lying in a pile of leaves. It’s the worst cliche in the world. You don’t want to marry the leaf. You’re totally better off.” But I know her girlfriends must have been doing that already. All day, I’m sure, was a string of calls just starting with “Pile of leaves. Pile of leaves.”
Two weekends ago, however, was one that took the absolute cake-a-roo. It was long and involved, but in a nutshell this guy meets a woman when they’re really young. He’s instantly in love with her, but she’s with someone else. Time passes. He ends up marrying someone else. Many years later, he meets her again, and realizes he’s still in love with her. (As I’m plowing through this, once again I’m thinking, ugh, this is gonna be a sucky read for the wife he dumped.) Anyway, he tries to make advances towards his flame. She seems receptive. He claims he and his wife are in the process of separating. The old flame is into it. They slowly begin a romance, but it gets stalled when his wife suddenly KILLS HERSELF. No need to have worried about his ex wife reading this – she’s DEAD. In the article he then goes on to talk about how amazing New Wife was dealing with the death of Old Wife. Holy shit!
I’m not gonna judge what happened. When someone takes their own life it is a terrible and complicated thing, and who knows how it went down. But if your hookup tale happens to involve a little detour through Suicideville, maybe you just bail on the NY Times wedding announcement. I mean for Christ’s sake! What a dick!