This past Sunday I started my Sunday morning like I always do: drinking my husband’s ridiculously delicious coffee and immersing myself in my very good local newspaper, The Morning Call, and the eminently cherishable New York Times. My daughter once observed the joy with which I opened The Times is ” like chocolate for you, Mom, isn’t it?” Indeed. And I love almost every section, but, if the New York Times TV commercial asked me: “how many sections are you fluent in,?” I would say without hesitation: the weddings and celebrations page. I linger lustily over how “Heather Rose met Cyrus Tyler” and how she graduated “summa cum laude” and he “cum laude.” I read with delight that Samuel Howard wrote B Chatfield “florid” love letters while at Oberlin College. I wonder briefly if my son will fall in love in college, write impressively good love letters, and then, like a teenager on a junk food binge, I move to another announcement.
Recently I read about Penn State President Spanier’s daughter being married in Paris and sometimes I read about a couple well into the latter part of middle age who have been married. It doesn’t taint my enjoyment whatsoever to read that “the bride and bridegroom’s previous (several) marriages ended in divorce.” I believe in love.
This coming February my husband Geoff and I will celebrate twenty-five years of marriage together. We are planning a trip to Rome when I’m on Spring Break in March to celebrate the occasion. I can’t wait. And frankly, it has me wondering why The New York Times doesn’t tell the real love stories. Oh, no doubt, being able to survive a courtship while “Spencer spent a year at Oxford and Daisy remained in New York managing the museum” is notable, but I think way more impressive is a couple who weathers such difficulties as an ill child, a lost job, cancer, making it through graduate school with young children, the death of a parent, or a failed business enterprise. It might not sound as glamorous, but it is far more meaningful. Heck, throw in a cake from The Cake Boss and a dress from Kleinfield’s and I think we have the makings of a new TLC hit show: “Twenty-five Years.”
Maybe someday newspapers everywhere will begin reporting the real love stories: the marriages that have lasted twenty-five years or more. In these times of increasingly negative news, these are the stories that would truly inspire. If that happens, Geoff and I will be ready for our close-ups.