“Your first ‘New York Times’ is here!” my husband sang out on his way to work Friday morning.
This was a celebratory event simply because we had not had a newspaper in the house in nearly five years.
When our twins came home from the hospital, the papers kept winding up, unread, in the recycling bin. Then the recession hit, and we dropped all “unnecessary” expenses, such as being in touch with the world – or rather, paying not to be in touch with the world, since we weren’t reading the papers anyway.
Whatever the description, the result was the same. And the only way I’ve kept even remotely abreast of national and international events is through NPR snippets I catch over the din in the minivan, headlines I glean off of “Us Weekly” in supermarket checkout lines, and comments people make about world news as I scurry through Facebook.
For instance, I missed the bit about Gaddafi’s golden pistol until someone joked about it on Facebook. I learned about the recent Los Angeles earthquake after my brother, who lives there, texted me. I’ve kept informed about Rihanna’s love life only through Joan Rivers’s tweets.
So you can see why receiving a newspaper on our doorstep might be a defining moment for us – even a breakthrough of sorts.
Our household economy hasn’t improved. But I’m happy to say our interest in the outside world has. And with our twins now in kindergarten, and our third sleeping through the night, I’m hoping to pay a little more attention to say, the presidential election, the European economic crisis, or maybe even that little war in Afghanistan.
Therefore, Friday after dropping my twins at school and stowing my 2-year-old in front of some very educational show on “Sprout,” I gleefully peeled open my first, home-delivered “New York Times” in five years.
Rapt, I read about how the second ambush of a “safe house” in Libya went down; about how “mortality data show that life spans for some of the least educated Americans are actually contracting”; and about how Rupert Murdoch has received a “clean bill of corporate health.”
Slightly deflated, I turned to the “Business Day” section where I learned that the wind power industry is facing “another setback.” Then I read in “Weekend Arts” that my celebrity crush, Jake Gyllenhaal, is making his New York stage debut as a “stoner” in a play about, as the headline touted, “Global Warming For a Cold Family.”
As much as I long to see Gyllenhaal up close and personal, I have little hope of hitting the Big Apple anytime soon. And Nick Payne’s “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet” doesn’t sound like much of a romp.
In fact, the play’s title kind of described my mood as I let the last page of Friday’s “New York Times” slip to the floor, forming a small pile of dejection.
Maybe our 5-year news' blackout was actually serendipitous. Maybe no news was really good news, after all.