A while ago, I wrote about the seemingly southern newspaper phenomenon of running entire sections devoted to a few single upcoming weddings, filling each page with photos of the entire bridal party and detailing each happy couple with detail usually reserved for CIA dossiers.
The practice stands out to me because, as I stated then, northern newspapers don’t tend to devote such space to extravagant wedding details. They would rather waste their time reporting actual “news”.
[True story: My hometown paper is so ineptly awesome that when they were reporting on the death of Sammy Davis Jr., they mistakenly included a photo Billy Crystal doing a Sammy Davis Jr. impression!]
Without studying it carefully (because, as I sit here in my cheeto-stained underwear, I realize I have better things to do), it seems like these grandiose wedding write-ups may actually be remnants of old ideas of Southern gentility. And outside of major metropolitan areas, these ideals–the Southern versions of propriety and decorum–never seemed to take root in the North.
I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s an interesting idea, and it makes me sound smart.
At any rate, another apparent holdover of that same attitude seems to be the desire to be seen out on the town–i.e., to appear in the society sections of the paper. But again, unlike its northern counterparts, Arkansas (or at least Little Rock) has entire publications devoted to documenting special events and showing glamorous photographs of their attendees.
Now I don’t know if it really is that big a deal to appear in one of these publications, but I do know this: at every event he goes to, my dad tries his hardest to hunt out the photographer and get his picture snapped, in the hopes of making it into the society pages.
Of course, I’m a very handsome person and have no need to stalk local photographers–I knew they’d find me, eventually. And it [thankfully][finally] happened last weekend.
Last weekend, my lovely and vivacious wife, along with my sister and her husband, attended a gala at ye olde governor’s mansion. And if you don’t believe that someone like me would ever be allowed to set foot on Governor Beebe’s property, I now have photographic proof thanks to the local society pages:
Note that the article lists my brother-in-law as “local movie master” and lists me only as “family”. Personally, I like to call him “guy whose dog once at my shoe and then had diarrhea all over the living room that I had to clean up.” But I guess “local movie master” is easier to say. Whatever.