Marriage of the Century
She was a rising young reporter devoted to her career. He was a noted young bachelor looking for a wife. John Seabrook recalls the story of how his parents met aboard the transatlantic crossing that took Grace Kelly, her guests, and the press to her wedding in Monaco.
When I was very young I listened to the story of how my parents met as if it were the story of the creation. I suppose it was, in a way, the story of my creation, but that wasn't what I found so enthralling. Listening to my mother tell it, watching the sapphire in her engagement ring sparkle as she gestured, and hearing my father, if he was around (he wasn't very often), lower the flap of his newspaper to embellish the tale—all this transformed mere coincidence into fait accompli. I believed in the romance of the story and think I believed that a marriage could never go wrong as long as the story came out right.
Later, when I was old enough to think of marrying, I assumed I would meet my wife under equally romantic circumstances. Later still, when I did meet her (she was the copy editor on a piece I was writing about Dan Quayle—not exactly the stuff of fairy tales), I tried to use what I knew of my parents' meeting and courtship as a guide in my own blind leap into marriage. But their story kept leading me astray, and finally I had to forget about it and find my own way.
Now I've been married for twelve years, and maybe I'm ready to tell the story myself, putting in what they told me and imagining some things that might have been left our, hoping it will still come out right in the end."
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Copyright © John Seabrook 2005. All rights
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