It's what we do

I simply cannot take part in one's death, I told my husband.

"Well... it's your choice," Jim responded. "I'll back you whatever you choose to do."

Ultimately, I chose to do the right thing: I renewed our daily newspaper subscription.


I didn't want to. Really, I didn't. Small-minded person I often am, I still resent the powers that be for eliminating my job — my entire department — at the local newspaper nearly seven (wow, seven!) years ago. Each day since has started with varying shades of schadenfreude, depending on the size of the thinning editions plopped near my porch.

Until the day there was no plopping, the day my newspaper subscription expired.

It was a Sunday, the day my husband and I most relish reading the daily news. I make breakfast — muffins and fruit, most Sundays — and together we peruse everything from the Parade magazine to the classifieds. We toss sections back and forth across the long dining room table where our daughters once giggled at the comics as they passed the pages we now toss between just the two of us.

It's what we do.

That Sunday with no paper, though, all we did was munch muffins while tossing reasons we shouldn't renew the darn thing. We could read up-to-the-minute news online, we reasoned. The subscription cost keeps rising as page count falls. Who reads newspapers anymore? Newspapers are dying.

We picked at our muffin crumbs. I considered picking up a magazine. Maybe two, so I could toss one down the table to my husband.

Then slowly, ever so reluctantly — because I can't help but want to hold fast my grudge against those who shut down my department — I stated wanting no part in killing print publications.

"Besides," I sniveled, "reading the paper is what we do."

Sure, there are plenty of other news sources. But this, reading the daily newspaper, is what we do because we like the local stuff. The bylines of people we know. The announcements when kids we once knew as children marry, couples we know from afar celebrate anniversaries. We read the obituaries, tsking at familiar names, shaking our heads when folks our age pass.

And we faithfully scan the property transactions to ensure the buyers of our former home — the family home where we raised our three daughters, from kindergarten through high school graduation — haven't heartlessly, callously chosen to sell after a mere seven years.

It's what we do.

And it's what we enjoyed doing again once I renewed the subscription, tapping the keyboard disdainfully every step of the online payment process because I really did not want to give money to those who stopped giving money — aka a paycheck — to me.

Nonetheless, I paid the darn thing, and the newspaper plopped near my porch the following Sunday.

I made muffins, separated the newspaper sections appropriately — ads, coupons, comics, Parade and printed sections in correct order, not the way they arrive with Lifestyle wrapped in the comics, Business mingled with ads.

Then Jim and I sat down to satisfy our cravings.

"Did you see the Mays-Liggett wedding announcement?" my husband asked. "Isn't that the little <cuss> who was so hateful to Andrea in high school?"

"Oh, yeah. Poor guy. He's gotta be crazy to commit to her," I said. "Speaking of crazy, look on the next page, down near the bottom at the announcements. See that anniversary announcement for the Kruegers? Sixty years… SIXTY years!"

"Ha. We’re more than halfway there ourselves," he mumbled through a mouthful of muffin.

"That we are," I mumbled back.

We both smiled, took another bite, turned another page. We continued to enjoy our printed news.

After all, it's what we do.

photo credit: stock.xchng

Today's question:

What's your preferred way to get your daily news?