We get two daily newspapers delivered at home, the Sun-Times and the New York Times. I always read my own paper first — loyalty — and then turn my attention the Grey Lady.
On Sundays, I start with the news section, then on to what I still consider “The Week in Review,” then the book section, magazine and business, working my way down through the various substrata of descending significance until I end up at the lowest sub-chamber, Style, with its dubious celebrations of flyspeck fads, grotesque genuflection to tasteless wealth, and enormous full-color Ralph Lauren ads for glitzy sequined, epauletted get-ups that would make Michael Jackson cringe with embarrassment.
At the back of Style, the marriage announcements — “Vows” — which I don’t read so much as scan, occasionally dipping into one to check the job statuses of the happy couples, tsk-tsking over their well-off parents and gold-plated, The-World-is-Mine careers. I glance at all the photos, skipping past the same-sex couples, pausing at the comfortably hetero duos to reassure myself that the brides-to-be are not as pretty as my wife — Ha! doing better than you, pal! — a vindictive little game rigged so I always win.
The Times also does news stories spotlighting certain couples about to be married, and last Sunday one stood out: Lilly Smartelli, posed with her arms around her groom-to-be: Bernie, a 9-year-old mixed breed cocker spaniel poodle.
She is marrying her dog, this Valentine’s Day.
Let me pause here, to give you time to form your immediate reactions, which I will go out on a limb and predict are: 1) the world is going to hell; 2) people are crazy; 3) the Times has slid into tabloid sensationalism.
Am I correct? Of course I am.
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