I will check out my name on Google every so often, just to see if my magazine pieces have been picked up. Invariably, the first entry of many pages worth of entries is my New York Times wedding announcement, from 1988.
This irks me for several reasons. First, the rest of the mentions are not in chronological order. Even if they were, I had pieces published before 1988. Who has decided that this bit of history should lead the way? Is it interesting because it is a wedding? Are weddings interesting? It can’t be the New York Times thing because I have written many articles for The New York Times. All of them wind up in these pages, but they are not first, or in order. Maybe the Googlepeople think that wedding announcements define people, women, mostly, and should set the tone for such things as Google lists. I do not know.
I guess that missteps people take are remembered, and remembered more enthusiastically when they are reported. If you steal from a bank and the newspaper writes about it, the act could follow you, and perhaps it should, since it would be a crime to steal from a bank. If you stumble on a curb and break a collarbone and someone walks by and photographs, it could end up haunting you on computers worldwide. This is not a criminal act, but it could be the first thing that comes up when you Google your name. What if you want to be a tight-roper in the circus? You will never get the job. They will pick someone who didn’t fall on a curb.
I have been wondering how to go about asking the list people how to remove the entry, or at least, place it in a less prominent spot. To that end, I have been researching “How to remove something from Google,” on Google, and it seems it is difficult to do. Not that getting married was something horrendous, really, but something ill-advised at the time, from a marriage-only no-children point of view. So, I think I might have to write a wedding announcement addendum, then, like a post script, an epilogue, a that-was-that, this-is-this sort of explanation. But maybe that would be boring, since there would be no veil to photograph or caterer to plug, and it wouldn’t make it to the page, anyway.
Of course, it’s all pretty silly. It was silly in the first place, an odd convention. Get engaged, tell the world where your grandparents live. So, every time they look you up, they can be reminded, too.