Katie Couric Segues from Widow to Wife

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This past weekend, journalist Katie Couric married financier John Molner in East Hampton, leaving widowhood behind. Couric became a widow in 1998 when her husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer.  Widow — it’s a reluctant identity.  In a 2013 interview with More Magazine, Katie Couric discussed widowhood and said, “I think life is more fun when you have someone in your life.”

When you’re finally able to contemplate ‘getting out there’ again, the idea of dating can seem surreal.  How will you ever meet someone special…again? But we do find love. For some, a committed relationship without a wedding works fine; others want to tie the knot. Do you see yourself getting married…again?

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Tricky Tombstone Text

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When it comes to tombstone text there are two things the surviving spouse needs to write: the epitaph (a phrase or statement written in memory of the deceased) and the term of endearment (known in the industry as the TOE, to describe the person with love and affection).

The term of endearment may seem rather straightforward, but while selecting and designing the tombstone, I was instructed by the saleswoman about the language of the dead.  Words have nuances on a headstone. ‘Beloved’ implies the person was very loved. ‘Devoted’? Not so much.

Then there’s the epitaph.  It’s often difficult to find the right words, brevity being a key factor.  My late husband was a film buff, so I turned to one of his favorite movies, The Wizard of Oz , for inspiration: “Over the Rainbow and Into God’s Hands.” Why not “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”? Because – as I was informed by the supervisor of stonework at the Catholic cemetery, a mother superior-type:  “That’s not a line from the Bible.” I could hear her not smiling over the phone as I negotiated the phrase.

Since there’s only one epitaph per headstone, the words chosen for the first occupant will have to satisfy all future tenants. For those who may feel cheated out of their last words, what would your epitaph say?

A few final words from some famous headstones:

  • Comedian Rodney Dangerfield:  There goes the neighborhood
  • Mel Blanc, the voice of Looney Tunes cartoon characters:  That’s all, folks.
  • Poet, Emily Dickinson:  Called back
  • Gangster, Al Capone:  My Jesus mercy
  • Chef, Julia Child:  Bon Appetit
  • Jackie Gleason:  And away we go
  • Talk show host, Merv Griffin:  I will not be right back after this message
  • Frank Sinatra:  The best is yet to come

 

Match.com – let me go! Hell hath no fury like a woman who has mourned…and moved on.

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We had fun, lots of laughs, but it’s over. You, too, eHarmony. Stop emailing me. I don’t care who made me their Favorite or that I have unread emails or how many Likes my photo received. My photo shouldn’t be visible. I’m gone. Outta’ there. Take down my profile!

Plying potential customers with technical catnip must work for Match because I’ve been receiving emails almost daily since I canceled my subscription. The very service that helped me find love, seems intent on destroying the relationship.  Similar to a monthly bank statement, Match emails me regularly – “Your weekly interest summary” with the tally for all the Winks, Likes, Emails and Favorites I received — and a hyperlink to respond and rejoin. Then there are the daily emails: “No subscription? No problem. Attend a Stir Event!” and all the personalized emails: “Someone in Merrick chose you!” “He likes you!” “Someone emailed you at 9:06 a.m.” Clearly they want to keep the pond stocked, even if this fish isn’t catchable.

eHarmony is equally infuriating. “You’ve got 2 matches!” Though their emails aren’t as many, the intent seems more egregious because they do the matching for their customers. How can they offer a non-member “match” to their customers? That’s just a big bowl of wrong. When I logged into my account, I was directed to a page that announced: “Hi paula (the lower case ‘p’ theirs) and welcome! Our new site is easier to use, more personalized, and smarter than ever. Please, take a look around at the new eHarmony. And it’s okay to stare – so get a feel for it.” I clicked. “This is where the magic happens. All your matches’ activity will post here. Go ahead and take a peek:”  Every next page featured the “Upgrade Your Membership” hyperlink.  In my profile, I clicked on the tab for my Matches and a page populated with dozens of faux photos (squares with the same male silhouette); when you clicked on the square it flipped to reveal his first name, age and town. Interspersed among the silhouettes were ad squares: “Upgrade to see photos,” “Picture this, no silhouettes when you upgrade,” “Upgrade today to communicate with your matches.”

As I’ve blogged before, I canceled both subscriptions a long time ago. For Match, I typed a lovely ‘thank you’ note in my online exit survey, explaining how grateful I was to have met such a wonderful man.  I terminated my membership with exclamation points and a smiley face emoticon – I was a satisfied customer.

The tone of our communications has changed.  In my latest email to Match I noted: “I have friends who are members and will monitor the status of my profile,” requesting one of their Customer Care representatives contact me immediately to confirm my profile has been removed. Minutes later, I was unable to partially log into my account, as I’d done earlier when checking to see if I was still “out there.”  Now they know I mean business.

Keep all your ‘Come Back’ deals, I’m happy and in love. Hell hath no fury like a woman who has mourned…and moved on.

 

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