Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Matched, Hatched & Dispatched.

Would you read your newspaper without it ?

Ask any woman older than fifty what section of the newspaper she reads first and the answer might surprise you. The smaller the community of the newspaper is, the more this seems to happen.( Men mostly grunt, cheer or lament over the back page news, so I don't include them.)

Back in South Africa I often remember hearing the more mature ladies discussing the latest news on the " Matched, Hatched & Dispatched "...or also know as " Marriage, Birth & Death ".

Being single, you might now and then take a peek at the " Matched " section, just to see who is off the menu ! Once you are married you want to see others becoming a " Mrs. " for the joy of it... or if Marriage is not all you thought it should be, you don't want to be the only stupid one !

The Birth column is cute but one wonders what some parents were thinking when they chose the name for their bundle of joy? Are some of those outlandish, dare I say freakish names a small revenge by the mother for having had a hard and painful labour ?

Sadly, years down the line you want to see if you know anyone on the dispatched list. As awful as it is to say, I am sure that in a way, one would be glad to read the list as opposed to being on the list. Reading about a person being survived by three generations makes you feel better because you know they have had a good life.

Frankly, there should be a fourth section. Right between " Hatched & Dispatched " is a space for
" Mismatched " ! They can even split that space into " Mismatched once ", " Mismatched twice " and sadly it happens " Goodness, Mismatched yet again ".

Of course the online environment has moved this " Matched, Hatched & Dispatched " up another notch. Oh yes, now you can peruse these sections of newspapers from all over the world. It is like being a nosy neighbour of the world.

Twitter is fantastic as it allows me to be the fly on the wall ! The other day, I started following the New York Times wedding announcements ( @nytimesvows ). Wow, you must read one, but don't blame me if you get hooked on them. New York does most things bigger, better and with style. Fabulous.

Each of those wedding announcements is an article in itself. It goes into detail of how the couple met, where they are from, what they now do, where they studied and with what zest ( cum laude / summma cum laude ) and finally what their parents do. It is pure pleasure to read these announcements. They have an air of Victorian glamour about them and I can tell you, once you start reading one, you read them all.

Sunday mornings, I read a few out loud to Bob just because they are such a treasure. But don't think it is all roses. The best bit is the slight irony of the writer. At the end there is always a stark line : The bride's / groom's previous marriage ended in Divorce / death...


Amazon.com:The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer [binder edition]: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Amazon.uk:The Victorian House: Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed