Too Old To Go Steady

Ada Bryant, Robert Haire

Ada Bryant, Robert Haire

Recently, the Weddings section of the Sunday Times  fell open and the above photo and announcement caught my attention. The bride, it seems, is 97 years old, the groom eleven years her junior.  Talk about robbing the cradle!  Albeit a very old one.

Their courtship was lovingly recounted in the Times article even as it retained some of the standard fare found in all of the announcements.  For example, you’ll be pleased to know that the bride is “keeping her name.”  I guess after nine decades you kind of get used to it.  But my favorite part is when the article mentions who their parents were (“she is the daughter of….”) and includes that they are deceased.  Really!?

It was unusual for me to have seen that article because years ago, I had purposefully stopped reading the Weddings postings. And for good reason. More often than not, those announcements would leave me slightly depressed and feeling decidedly inadequate.  Nearly all of the featured couples were just too good-looking; with too perfect teeth; from the best schools and all having remarkably interesting jobs and/or making a ton at Goldman Sachs. And not to be mean-spirited, but seemingly way too happy, as well.  I would feel that somewhere along the way I had let my kids down.  That maybe I should have made them stay with their orthodontist a little longer or, despite going to great schools, possibly if I had insisted on more college preparatory courses, they’d be Yale and Harvard grads.  And maybe if I had been a better role model, they would be wildly happy.  All the time.

And then there is the part of the announcement that would recount what successes the parents all were.  I never knew there was so many doctors in the world.  Or partners in law firms, for that matter.  And if the parents didn’t have a gaggle of advanced degrees they would at least be the owners or officers of very impressive sounding companies.  A saving grace:  if you read between the lines, you’d figure out that the “President of XYZ Perchlorethylene Corporation” was the guy who had the dry cleaners down the block.  I would console myself knowing that if my kids would ever have had an announcement, I’d be described as: the “President, Founder, CEO,CFO and COO of Garfield Realty Corp.”  We all know what a big deal that is.


2 Responses to “Too Old To Go Steady”

  1. Leland Fanyat Says:

    Neil, you’ve come to an odd full cirlce. It seems one of your earliest epistles was about couple married for many decades who were geting divorced. He was 93; I assume she was close in age. Could the blushing bride in your commentray actually be that very same woman in a rebound marriage? If so, statistically, it’s doomed to be short one.

    • iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

      You’re probably right. you’re alluding to the low success rate of second marriages….right? Which makes me wonder what the record for the oldest person to get a divorce is. I think if I can find the time (hah!) i’ll do some research. btw…interesting pseudonym you’ve chosen.

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