Contemporary film and literature are loaded with romantic, frequently funny images of couples sharing The New York Times over the breakfast table. Perhaps they linger well into a lazy Sunday morning as they enjoy a second cup of coffee, each waiting for the other to finish with the Magazine Section or the Book Review. But we’ve just noticed a telling phenomenon right here at home. Instead of exchanging sections of the Times, we send each other Tiny URLs, across the breakfast table via E-Mail. Our laptop computers are no more than eighteen inches from each other. (*In case you and your significant other haven’t encountered this nifty cyber-trick, a Tiny URL creator is an application that instantly abbreviates those unwieldy 137-character links to Web pages.)
It could be worse. We could share our hot picks and reading matter via Instant Messages with Blackberrys. But, so far at least, sending a text message that says something like, drlng, u shud c ths seems too disembodied. Still, it’s a sign of the times that a couple who spend their professional time writing and reading online, should share the ritual of the Sunday paper digitally as well.
So far this morning, the links we’ve emailed back and forth have included—the latest Op-Ed from MoDo (Maureen Dowd), Carl Hiaasen’s Top Ten reasons why any “do-over” of the Florida Primary would be a disaster, a feature on Wal*Mart’s new, Muslim-friendly policy to stock hijabs and instant felafel mix at one of their suburban Detroit stores, and a lament that the Gators will get a miss in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament.
Sure, we’re old enough to be nostalgic for the notoriously smudgy ink of the real paper of record and wouldn’t mind being in the Tri-State delivery area. We wish our coffee were from Zabar’s, the bagels from lower Delancy Street, and that the whole ritual were taking place at an outdoor cafe on Central Park West. But lazy Sunday mornings retain their power regardless of location. Besides, we still haven’t gotten to the latest on Eliot Spitzer’s adventures in interstate commerce, Barack and Hillary’s campaign spats, or what canyons the dollar may test next week.
Even without ink on our hands, we know that Sundays are for catching up on the news.