Monday, 23 February 2009

Morning after a Dream Wins Oscars: Real Life Fairy Tales in The New York Times

So a fairy tale wins big at the Oscars? If you really want an abundance of happy endings, I’ve just discovered the place to go: The New York Times' Wedding and Celebrations section.

It used to be that wedding and engagement announcements were pretty dry stuff. Only the socially prominent got anything more than a couple of lines in local newspapers. For anything bigger, ordinary folk would (and still do in some cities) pay for a small ad with picture and text giving who, what, when and where.

But in recent years the NYT has burst that bubble. While there still may be small wedding notices in specific editions (I don’t know since I read the Sunday Times on line), each Sunday paper carries at least a half dozen mini-novels about couples getting together. This week the lead couple was a pair in their 60s who had had a fling as college students on a trip to Europe, but who had gone their separate ways afterwards. Until, that is, the woman wrote a short article about the European travel program, and they found themselves both free...and the rest is history including a wedding which their 10 grandchildren attended.

There also is a video of a high power couple—he, white psychotherapist; she, African American style consultant—who swept each other off their feet in their 40s, as well as a pair of rowers who met at the Olympics. Just to make sure we don't come away with the impression that marriage is always all roses, there's a feature "State of the Unions" which recounts how some long-married couple has met and/or is meeting the challenges of life to together.

They're all lovely stories, all enough to fuel your day dreams for a week. Or maybe to make a couple of movies. Comedies to be sure, because, remember, the classic definition of a comedy is a play which ends with a wedding.

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