Better To Have Loved and Lost

It’s easier than ever to find old acquaintances these days with social media and whatnot, but it would really jumpstart the process if the local newspaper joined the search, like the Times Union did recently with this front page story:

When Reno met April …can sparks reignite?

It seems that “Reno” — his actual name is Ricardo — wants to reconnect with his long lost love who said she was from Schenectady. He claims that they had a month-long fling as college students 26 years ago.

Everybody loves a love story, and this is pretty romantic, right? Yeah, I suppose — until it turns fucking creepy.

I’m not saying that it’s always wrong to seek out a long lost flame, but to do so in such a public way is troubling. By crowdsourcing this effort you’re taking away someone’s choice in the matter of being found.

Did anyone think that this woman might not want to be contacted by “Reno,” or that doing so could be disruptive or damaging? Let me tell you, not everyone would be thrilled if some dude was hunting down their spouse on the front page of the newspaper.

And what do we know about this Reno character? Not much except that he runs a “taxi and tour business” in the Bahamas. Oh, OK. He must be legit. And I’m sure the paper did some deep digging into his background.

I could be wrong about all this; it may be this woman’s lifelong dream to be reunited with the guy she dated for a month 26 years ago — a guy who doesn’t even know her last name. Hey, it’s romantic!

But don’t worry; the story says that Reno “just wants to reconnect. No pressure.” Perfectly harmless.

I don’t know what they’re smoking over at the Times Union, but it must be pretty potent for them to do something so stupid and irresponsible. Journalism students take note: this story is a master class in poor editorial judgement.

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