Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tabloid Dreams

It is a little known fact that my fiance and I met over a focus group. Well, that's not entirely true. I met him first at some crazy support group mixer for his past company, which I crashed with a friend. Then, months later, when I was looking for people for a focus group, she suggested we invite him. It was a highly informal shoestring focus group, held in a conference room with a portable voice recorder and free pizza. I was the moderator. 

I had moderated focus groups before, so that wasn't new to me, and my fiance, who swings between being rather quiet and being strongly, loudly opinionated (when the spirit moves him), was happy to voice his thoughts on the topic at hand: Newspapers. The newspaper in question, which was clearly hidden from the participants until the end, was "Our Only National Newspaper" a.k.a. the one left outside your hotel room in the morning. My fiance, bless his heart, vehemently decreed that it was tantamount to a tabloid, and that quote made it into all our presentations and ultimately to the chief editor of the paper. I have the entire thing on mp3. 

I stay in hotels often, and think of my dear sweetie whenever I trip over the paper on my wait out of the room in the morning. Except when it isn't there. That's the kicker - I LIKE the paper. I can read silly little stories over my otherwise lonely breakfasts, and do the crossword on the flight home. I discard the sports section (the #1 most read section), but the rest amuses me just enough to get me through the monotony of much of business travel. 

Today and yesterday, it wasn't there. And it should have been, according to the little note on the back of my key that said "You can refuse the paper and we will credit your account 75 cents." The front desk had no papers. No one seemed to have a paper. And frankly, I'm a little bored of the Modern Bride mag I bought at the airport. I miss my tabloid.

All of this reminds me that it is easy to disparage something, and take it for granted, until you're all alone eating dry raisin bran at the hotel buffet, wondering what Lindsay Lohan is up to. 

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