I miss Andy Rooney, and, in tribute to him, I am going to air one of my pet peeves. I’ve gotten so I read through the obituaries, partly for that feeling of having won a little lottery when I don’t see anyone’s name I know (so at this point, I still win a lot) and partly to read about strangers’ lives and marvel at the detail in some of them. I have to admit that I also look to see mentions of a beloved pet left behind. I do that with wedding announcements, too, and feel instantly connected when I see a pet in the picture with the happy couple. I guess I should disclose that my dog “Pasha Bird” shared space with me in my college yearbook.
But, back to obituaries! Often I see a picture of a young person staring out at me, and I gasp to myself, thinking, “how sad,” but then, when reading on, I discover the person is actually way past 60. It happened just today in the Chapel Hill News.
Are we trying to say we are now forever young? I don’t get it. There was a flapper not long ago in the Raleigh paper, hair flattened down with tight curls, in a roaring twenties dress. So, of course she was in her nineties. Would any of our current acquaintances recognize us if we put our high school picture in our announcement? Is it the families that do this? Or do we, upon reaching a certain age, pick out our best shot from fifty years ago and designate it as our ‘parting’ shot?
I can see that some people may just not have a more current picture, but in this digital day and age, I would think they would be in the minority.
So, for heaven’s sake, anybody who doesn’t have a recent picture, please ask your grandkids to snap one of you, so we won’t have to move you through all three focal levels in our glasses to figure out even that we knew you!
Now I’m going to look up Andy’s obit to see what his picture was like.