Monday, July 27, 2009

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

I'm in love with the idea of technology. The Kindle. iPods. Phones that do everything except flush the toilet. Cable service that skips commercials or allows me to freeze my show in one room and pick it up in another. That's cool stuff! I love to daydream about what my life would be like if I was teched-out to the max.

But truthfully, I'm old school. My cell phone only takes and makes calls, and very rarely at that. I watch possibly five of the 72 basic cable channels on my television. And while I can see the convenience of a Kindle, I prefer the touch, smell, and even the weight of good old-fashioned hard copy print. I don't think I could get cozy with a Kindle. Not like I can with a book. And the newspaper is meant to be shared with a loved one over a cup of black coffee on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Scrolling a computer screen in tandem involves a form of sharing and a level of patience I have yet to achieve. Besides, you can't swap sections very easily on a laptop. And magazines? Well, magazines are great for ripping and tearing recipes, decorating tips, and beauty advice.

So, it was with great sorrow that my husband and I decided against renewing our subscription to The Kansas City Star newspaper. We are regular Thursday-Sunday subscribers, but when the bill came late last week, we realized the publishers had finally priced themselves out of our value range. The Star, like most city newspapers, isn't what it used to be. Every week the news and feature items are fewer and far between. The National and Local News sections have been smushed into one section in such an odd way that it reminds me of roommates who have nothing anything in common trying to live together. The TV guide faded into oblivion months ago, as did The Northland News section. The publishers are trying to sell less for more, and I'm no longer buying.

But price isn't the only thing keeping us from renewing our script. Our life has changed. Before the peeps arrived, and even while they were itty bitty, my husband and I maintained our weekend morning ritual of coffee and paper in bed. We had our unspoken routine. He started with National News; I browsed the Local News. As we read our way through FYI, Arts & Entertainment, and Sports we organized the sections into two piles: a "both have read" pile and a "one person has read" pile. But over the past two months, our routine has been either disrupted completely or delayed by the peeps, who have yet to grasp the concept of sleeping in. The joy is gone. I guess it's time to join the legions of folks who read their news online.

So, I bid a fond farewell to my old friend, The Kansas City Star. I'm sorry to see you go, and may you rest in peace when your time arrives.

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