I love reading the Sunday New York Times. I look forward to it all week. Sometimes it takes me the better part of the week to get through it all, but I read it from cover to cover. Every section. Well that’s not entirely true. I don’t read the sports section. Occasionally I skim it, but I don’t even do that all the time.
What I never miss, though, are the wedding announcements. Why, God only knows. I don’t know any of the brides and grooms. So why should I give a toss that they’re getting married, where they’re getting married, who their parents are or what any of
them do for a living.
But I do, it seems.
Does this mean I’m a real nosy parker? A hopeless romantic? Someone who needs a
life? Truly pathetic? Or just simply out of my mind?
This sort of feels like I’m in a confessional. “Bless me Father, for I seem to have an addiction to the love lives of total strangers. I’ve carried this secret around with me for many years and I can’t bear the burden any longer. It’s time I came out of hiding and faced facts. I have a problem. I can’t get enough, Father. I want photos. I want details. I want to know everything, including whether or not the dress is from Kleinfelds.”
And now you know another dirty, little secret of mine. Uh huh. I’ve been known to watch Say Yes To The Dress! I know the difference between a ‘mermaid’ and a ball gown. I know exactly what a ‘sweetheart neckline’ is — and who should never wear one. I feel like Pnina Tornai and I are besties — although I must say I wish she’d never thought of the ‘corset dress’. I’ve seen Randy come to the rescue when, after trying on hundreds of gowns, an uncertain, exhausted, depressed and demoralized bride is about to leave the store empty-handed. With or without her overbearing mother. With or without her opinionated best friends, bridesmaids, aunts, grandmothers, fathers and everyone else in her entourage. I know what it means to be “jacked up”.
Oh, the shame of it all!! The shame. The shame.
All righty. Time to snap out of it. Enough about me. Let’s get back to the Sunday Times and the wedding announcements. That was the point of this blog post as I recall. I do prattle on sometimes, don’t I?
So here’s a question for you. Do you ever read them? I ask for a reason — and it’s not because misery loves company. It’s because if you do, I’m wondering if you’re noticing what I’m noticing:
These love stories seem to be getting more and more complicated. More and more convoluted. It seems most of these couples met years ago — on blind dates, at parties, in cafes, at airports, in university, at the weddings of friends, wherever. Sometimes they disliked each other on sight, or at least they thought they did. Sometimes they were involved with others (which begs the question, what were they doing at a party alone, but who am I to judge). Sometimes they became friends, got stuck there and didn’t get to first base, let alone beyond. Sometimes just as things were getting interesting one, or both of them, got jobs thousands of miles away; and, sadly, it was a case of romance interruptus.
Alas. Regardless of the reason, love was nipped in the bud.
Not forever, though, which you’d know if, like me, you read the ‘announcements’. No, somehow, these twosomes find their way back to each other. Sometimes it takes months. Sometimes years. Sometimes as much as twenty or twenty-five years, a few kids and maybe even a grandkid or two. Sometimes the ‘reconnection’ happens on Facebook. Sometimes the same friends who introduced them the first time get a second or third chance to play Cupid. Sometimes it’s just fate. Serendipity. Luck. Beshert, as we say in Yiddish.
They meet. They talk. They talk some more. They drink wine. They eat cold, leftover pizza. They walk in the rain. They hike. They kiss. They kiss again. And again. Nature takes its course. Hormones rage. Interruptus is a thing of the past.
They travel. They wonder what went wrong the first time, or the second, or even the third. They move in together. Or not. And then, one day, on top of a mountain or down in a valley or in their favourite neighbourhood restaurant or in a canoe or while horseback riding or ice skating or playing softball or in the middle of doing laundry or scooping up dog poop, he finally pops the question.
And I get to read all about it, every Sunday. And every Sunday I ask myself the same questions: “Why’d it take so long? Why was it so difficult, so arduous, so problematic, so melodramatic? Why so many twists and turns?”
What’s particularly fascinating, at least to me, is that their family and friends, their colleagues and associates, even the Universal Life Minister who got a special license to marry them “knew all along they were perfect for each other, that they were meant to be together.” Everybody but the now happy couple who took forever and a day to figure it out and get with the program.
Why is that?
It wasn’t always this way. My mother and father dated for three weeks when he asked her to marry him and she said “yes”. They were happily married until the day he died.
Which leads me right back to the question I asked at the beginning of this story: “Whatever happened to love at first sight?”