A Sunday wedding that was months away, then weeks away, then days away, is now hours away, and there is so much still to do. The bride is panicking, and the groom is trying to calm her between anxious puffs of his cigarette.
Peter and Lori are on their own.
With time running out, they visit a salon to have Lori’s reddish-brown hair coiled into ringlets. They pay $184 for a two-tier cake at Stop & Shop, where the checkout clerk in Lane 1 wishes them good luck. They buy 30 helium balloons, only to have Peter realize in the Party City parking lot that the bouncing bobble will never squeeze into his car.
Lori, who is feeling the time pressure, insists that she can hold the balloons out the passenger-side window. A doubtful Peter reluctantly gives in.
This story was posted by the New York times a little over a month ago and it begins the way many wedding stories go: the anticipation and the every-thing-has-to-be-perfect stress of the few hours before the walk down the aisle.
Lori and Peter are a couple in love navigating the world the same as most of us married folks do: balancing a marriage with jobs, obligations, yet there in the midst of a . The author tells us, Lori and Peter met and became smitten for each other while both spending their days at sheltered workshop in Rhode Island.
I don’t intend the recap the entire story, and share both because lately I’ve become enamored with reading the comment sections of journalism, more than the written piece itself. It seems like no matter how benign the article is, or how heavily debated the topic might be, comment sections seems to be abuzz with advice, mandates, oughts and shoulds, and general nastiness, or ignorance about a topic in general.
Lori and Peter’s story was no different.
This is a cross section of opinions in the comment section. I get disheartened with the uphill battle of our work when I read an article that mentions disability. I know if I look, I’ll find what I suspect is there. Comments like S.L. from Briarcliff Manor, NY:
Down the rabbit hole the comments often go, like S.L. claiming that it’s not a community’s job to “babysit” “clients” who have “tantrums” and how “unfair” it is to nondisabled people to have to work alongside “them.”
While I know in clicking comments, I’ll find what I was looking for, comments like S.L. are always disheartening. Especially when even “well-meaning” comments respond as such:
“Easiest, most cost-effective” the commenter writes alongside “dignity preserving” while describing a so-called community which by design would completely isolate someone from having to leave it.
It doesn’t take much to become angered, saddened by the comment section when you work day in day out trying to design the opposite of what the above comment describes. It is in these times, I remember the Mr. Rogers quote: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You’ll always find people who are helping.'”
and the simple, yet thoughtful commenters who see the story for what it is: a celebration of two people getting married.