My grandmother, who was old the whole time I knew her (or so I thought; that’s always how young people think), used to quip, “I read the obituaries this morning and didn’t see my name,” whenever you’d ask how she was doing. Very droll, Grandma. But also sort of pragmatic. Anyway.
I am single. I have been single for nearly five years. I don’t know that I ever want to have a serious girlfriend again. Yeah, that’s how old I am: What’s the point? I think to myself. I’m not looking at more than 20 years before The Big Sleep – do I really want to have to deal with all that crap and nonsense so soon before I’m dead?
Despite this, I have never shaken my decade-old habit of reading the marriage announcements from the New York Times every Sunday. The only reason I ever started looking at them was because sometimes two men or two women would actually have their announcement mixed in with everyone else’s – and that used to be very daring, even ten years ago! I’m so old that I once used to worry about “the wrong person” finding out I was a lesbian! Now, though, I can make jokes about my being gay in the middle of morning director meetings where I work and all the other directors LAUGH at my jokes and my boss doesn’t FIRE me!
Boy oh boy! What a world we live in, now!
So I have a backlog of something like 40 or 50 announcements in my RSS feed reader, which isn’t weird this time of year, but definitely looks daunting. Do I really want to even merely glance at 40 or 50 pairs of names that (on some vague level I refuse to acknowledge) taunt me with their hopefulness regarding the possibility of true love and lifelong devotion?
I’m still not sure because I only saw one, and it made me start this blog post about a seemingly unfortunate coupling that will produce the hyphenated moniker Wang-Ding for the new bride in question (if she uses her husband’s name and wants people to remember her maiden name).
Wow! What a sad anticlimax to such a long, convoluted post!
But wait! As soon as I saw those names in that announcement, I immediately got the song “New Frontier” by Donald Fagen stuck in my head. You know, because of the first verse where he sings, “Yes, we’re gonna have a wing ding…” He’s talking about partying in a bomb shelter that was built to use in the event of nuclear holocaust! This was something we old people of today worried about when we were very young people in 1982. Despite the implied threat of possible annihilation, his thoughts turn immediately to being introduced to a hot lady who’s “got a touch of Tuesday Weld.” And that verse right there proves how old Donald Fagen is! When he wrote that song Tuesday Weld was already heading into middle age, so if he thought she was sexy enough to want to bone in a “dugout that [his] dad built” he was probably no spring chicken!
(Useless aside: Matthew Sweet wanted to name his first album Nothing Lasts instead of Girlfriend, but Tuesday Weld said she would revoke his rights to use an old picture of her on the cover if he did that. At that point in time Tuesday Weld was my age! So I get why that would irk her.)