Monday, January 4, 2010

Something old, something new

There is big news on Facebook. My colleague Steve Watson is engaged! This is big news because over the last decade Steve Watson has developed the reputation of being quite the man about town. Boulevardier. Eligible bachelor. You may take your choice of terms because I love all of them.

Especially boulevardier!

That is one word I love. Bridezilla is another. Isn't that a classic Bridezilla picture at the top of this post? When I found it I could not believe it.

Back to Steve Watson. When he gets married it will be like the tumbling of a giant oak. When Howard got married it was like that too! That was because Howard ran his mouth from when he was about 20 about how he was never getting married. His old friends are always coming looking for him on Facebook and expressing disbelief that his status says "married." They think he is playing a joke.

It is funny that Facebook has become the place where you find news of engagements and other social happenings. When you get engaged now that must be quite a moment, when the two of you approach the computer and tick off that "engaged" setting, so society will now know.

Just as now when you start going out with someone, there is that moment when you hit that button that announces you are, ahem, "in a relationship." It is like being pinned used to be in our parents' generation.

Then sometimes you see it go the other way. Someone who was in a relationship is no longer in a relationship. Someone who was married is single. And there are all these messages of sympathy.


Yesterday I found out that my friend Martin Ederer is getting married. Martin Ederer is one of our local history gurus! If you go to the Historical Society the odds are he will be there, researching something or other.

And I found out about Martin Ederer's upcoming marriage in the most old-fashioned way possible.

It was in the church bulletin!

Imagine, getting news like that the way our grandparents would have gotten it. Home from Mass I am lying around drinking coffee and reading the bulletin, and I say to Howard, "Oh, look, Martin Ederer is getting married." Just as my grandparents would have been doing in 1910. And not only that but the Mass I had just been to was in Latin just the way it had been in my grandparents' day. Which the Washington Post just reported was hip! Also my friend Martin Ederer is getting married where my grandparents got married, at St. Ann's.

This is all adding up to something, but it will take me a few more cups of coffee to figure out what.

Meanwhile, all I can say is it is nice that marriage is still marriage and it still gets people buzzing.

Also remember that one woman I talked to whom Leonard Pennario had asked to marry him? I am up to the part of the book where I am writing up these interviews and last night I was going over my notes from that conversation which now I see was, zut alors, almost exactly a whole year ago.

And I am thinking, the best part of talking to this woman was how she got just a little defensive. Here she had thought the sands of time had closed over these ancient memories, and then one day the phone rings and it is starstruck me, telling her that the guy she threw out with the trash was one of the great pianists of our age or any age. Begging her for any memories of him, however insignificant.

Ha ha! As I talked to her I remember it was as if I could feel Pennario listening in.

And loving it.


Bingles said...

My Grandmother held on to the old type-written parish bulletin announcing her marriage to my grandfather. You're right, that is how most people spread the word of such things as engagements. At that time (In illo tempore...) most of your social circle came from the same parish... so they would read the bulletin to get the news.

Ryan said...

I don't know Martin Ederer, but his book about Buffalo's Catholic Churches is truly a masterpiece. Anyone with an interest in the subject should check it out. St. Ann's happens to be my favorite church in Buffalo.

Mary Kunz Goldman said...

Bing, I love that phrase "in illo tempore" ... it is so great to be corresponding with someone who thinks the way I do!

Mary Kunz Goldman said...

And Ryan, I love St. Ann's too! I love the statues. They all have this kind of mischievous, good-humored look! And yes, I admire Martin Ederer's book on the Buffalo churches. It is so great, all the research he did.