By Sean Dietrich
Last night, amidst the biting Michigan cold, a baby was born at 10:03 p.m. And while none of the major news outlets or camera crews had reason to tell you about this average birth, in an average town, in an average hospital, the baby’s family doesn’t feel it was average.
The baby’s name is Kristen. And this was a happy night for her family. Kristen’s dad, for example, took 3,122,391 cellphone pictures of Kristen within the first five minutes of her life. Which is very different from how things were done when I was born shortly after the Civil War. We had delivery-room sketch artists.
I talked to Kristen’s father this morning. He was emotional on the phone. In fact, he was all-out crying about the birth of his first child. He blew his nose loudly and said, “This is the happiest day of my life.”
It’s too bad the newspeople didn’t tell you about it. Maybe they were busy.
Also, it’s a shame nobody told you about Hilary’s dog, Dingo. Last night in Albuquerque, Hilary’s dog passed away.
A little about Dingo: He was golden colored. He loved eating corn chips, pizza, carrots, Jergens Ultra-Healing Moisture Lotion and expensive electronics. He was a very special animal.
Dingo watched Hilary graduate high school when he was a puppy. He saw Hilary into college. He was around when she got married. He was also beside her when her first husband walked out on her. Dingo, the lab-mix with the big smile, was the one who helped carry Hilary into adulthood. He deserved a headline or two.
Hilary knew on Friday that something wasn’t right with Dingo when he started having multiple accidents indoors. It was bad. Pancreatitis. Hilary made the decision no pet owner wants to make. They put Dingo down.
“I just wanted someone to know about the best dog in the world,” wrote Hilary.
So, now you do.
Meanwhile, 1,397 miles away, more breaking news was happening in Georgia. Fifteen-year-old Paul was preparing for a first date. Paul was standing before his closet mirror, getting dressed. He was nervous because he does not find himself attractive.
“I’m kinda overweight,” says Paul. “Not super fat, but, you know, kinda fat.”
Paul believes that most girls think he is ugly, although his mother adds that Paul is flat wrong.
His date’s name was Sophia. For a long time now — two years — Paul has had a crush on Sophia, but she never really paid him any attention. Until last Saturday when Paul’s uncle gave the kid a pep talk, saying, “If you don’t ask this girl out you might regret it for the rest of your life.”
So Paul summoned his intestinal courage and got Sophia’s number from a friend and texted her with his trembling thumbs. Paul was bold. Paul was courageous. Paul almost vomited in his mouth.
But he actually asked her out. And within the six agonizing minutes it took Sophia to respond, he died one thousand deaths. Her text response was: “Sorry I missed your text! My phone was on vibrate! Yes, I’ll go out with you!”
You could have buried Paul with a grin on his face.
The two had a date yesterday evening. During the date, Sophia voiced her serious interest in follow-up dates.
And then there was Elaine’s big news. She vacated Dallas last week amidst the mass power outages. She carried her two kids home to Tennessee and moved in with her elderly parents. And last night she made a pivotal life decision.
“I’m gonna go back to school and finish my education,” she says.
Elaine plans on getting a GED, then she’s aiming for college, then nursing school. It’s a tall order, there is a lot of work ahead, but there is joy in her voice.
I asked why she chose nursing.
“When I got the coronavirus this past summer,” says Elaine, “I was pretty scared, and the ER nurses were so amazing. I knew I wanted to do THAT with my life.”
Classes start in the summer, Elaine is so excited that her face could light up four city blocks.
And don’t forget the newsworthy thing that happened 3,845 miles across the Atlantic, in Dublin. Alana had been injured from an on-the-job accident for a few years. She decided to get surgery to deal with this at age 41. After her operation, the surgeon recommended physical therapy.
Alana went faithfully to each session, three times every week where a therapist named Ricky helped her regain mobility by engaging in unusual, moderately embarrassing exercises involving weighted balls, squatting positions and fitness contraptions that resemble medieval chastity hardware.
Ricky was handsome. And nice. He had longish brown hair, a gentle disposition and Alana found herself giggling for no apparent reason whenever he was nearby.
Finally, the inevitable happened.
Ricky asked if she was busy that weekend. Alana said no, so Ricky asked would she like to do something, and she said yes, and he said what time, and she said any time is good, and he said okay how about six, and she said six sounded fine and then they got married.
Okay, it didn’t happen THAT fast, but they did get married one year later. And as it happens, Alana and Ricky just celebrated their 31st anniversary yesterday. Which, in case you forgot, was the same day baby Kristen’s birth took place, along with all the other stuff I just told you about.
So the next time you feel like the world is falling apart, take a moment and think of the 7.6 billion happy stories the headlines forgot to mention.