Thursday, May 23, 2013

Making Headlines

I spent one evening last week trying to get an announcement in the local paper. Five months into this deal and I'm finally checking one thing off the wedding planning to-do list. According to Martha Stewart, I should have done this before Thanksgiving. Martha and I live differently; Martha has someone who folds her fitted sheets. 

The problem with having a full plate (and I always clean my plate) is that many of the not in-my-face tasks get pushed to the wayside and I end up communicating after hours with a computer screen, an automated voice or a guy named Ryan who speaks a language that doesn't include the letter "R". That complicates things. 

Likewise, the problem with getting an event (less than three months away) in the special events section of the local paper is that the publication has to squeeze an internet submitted lively event into a section where the majority of content is written for people who will never read it. 

Why do folks publish open letters to others who have been dead for years? I have never understood that. Unfortunately, the deceased will never have the opportunity to read that print. They don't read it. But if they did, I would bank on them being furious that family used that photo with the lampshade on their head. These days fewer people pay to have the soggy local newspaper tossed into their side shrubbery. Why would the deceased subscribe Up There? Surely there is more to do on those streets of gold. They have a bird's eye view. They know what's Up. Why publicize it?

All of the sudden, I realized our better-late-than-never announcement is likely going to be situated between a letter written to a man (who is photoed) resting in a casket from 1978 and the funky "I miss you, friend" tribute that contains more LOL-B4-OMG abbreviations than it does words from Webster's. Two lines in and I question whether I'm playing bingo at the U.A.W. hall or reading the Sunday news.  

Irony lies in time.  At twelve the greatest day of your life is making fifth-page news when your science fair project gets honorable mention; it doesn't matter if they spell your name wrong or who your parents are reported to be. All you can focus on is the blurred ink print of your face.  Then you graduate high school and spend the next four years trying semi-hard to stay out of the headlines. 

To each their own when it comes to getting published - and everyone mourns differently. I will admit, I'd much rather read a headline report a successful lemonade stand rather than see one of my Facebook friends in the latest edition of Cuffs. 

Momma always says: Say it, forget it. Write it, regret it. 

I was at a house inspection some time ago and fifteen minutes after introductions the inspector came up from the basement with a question on his mind. He clicked his flashlight off and asked, "Were you the 4-H fair queen a while ago?" I was a bit taken back. 

"I's been something like eleven years, now. Did you have kids in 4-H back then?"

"They are now, just young ones. Can't remember exactly what it was, but something you said that was in the paper..." he continued on his way, me trailing closely behind, trying - so hard - to remember what was put in print that this guy was about to call me out on. 

Self-made headlines in a small town. They stick with you. 

How does your headline read?

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I think my headline would be something like, "She volunteered FOR WHAT??? " SERIOUSLY need to learn to say, "No, I think I'll pass on this one." One of these days......