Before They Were Sorta Famous: The 'Toos's Nups

After we reveled in deposed Seventeen E in C Atoosa Rubenstein's latest MySpace fabulosity-explosion, you expressed a desire to know much, much more about the 'Toos's background. We'll answer all your questions eventually, but first, we need to tackle the issue of how little Atoosa Behnegar became Big Momma Rubenstein. The answer can be found (as so many answers can) in the Times Vows column. This one is from September 6, 1998, and it details the day the 'Toos wed Tevas-wearing commodities trader Ari Rubenstein:

LIKE a French tulip, Atoosa Behnegar is tall and wiry, with skin so white it seems powdered, and wild black curly hair. She is 26, the senior fashion editor at Cosmopolitan magazine and looks like a cross between a runway model, an ''Addams Family'' character and a Shakespearean maiden from ''A Midsummer Night's Dream.''
Photographic evidence is solicited so, so, so hard. And for those TimesSelectless souls among you, the full text of the column is after the jump — it's too good to miss.
She has a disheveled elegance,'' said Creighton, a friend of the bride and a New York hairstylist, who uses only his first name. ''She's strong, striking, well put together, yet completely disheveled. If you look at her hair, it's all different lengths, very quirky and uneven.''

Ms. Behnegar, who's known for wearing stilettos with miniskirts so tiny they look more like spandex headbands, seems at first glance about as approachable as a cactus. ''She looks a little scary,'' said Roger Padilha, a friend and a fashion designer who worked until recently for Betsey Johnson in New York. ''She's a diva, a femme fatale. But then you talk to her, and she's the most easygoing, down-home person.''

Three years ago, Ari Rubenstein saw Ms. Behnegar across the room at an opening party for the Carnegie Hill Brewing Company in Manhattan. Mr. Rubenstein, 26 and an independent commodities trader on the New York Cotton Exchange, describes himself as a regular guy, not fabulous in any way. His height is perfectly average. At the time, his wardrobe was made up of suits, jeans, Tevas and denim shirts. Still, he was determined to introduce himself to Ms. Behnegar.

''I drummed up the courage to talk to her, even though, believe me, this person was way out of my league,'' Mr. Rubenstein said. ''If you saw us both, you'd think, 'This guy's got no shot!' '' To his surprise, she spoke to him. She even laughed at his jokes.

When he asked for her phone number, she didn't hesitate to give it to him. Ms. Behnegar says she gave him her number because she thought he was smart and sweet, although she couldn't stand his Tevas, which she describes as ''follower'' shoes. She thought he might make a great buddy, but never a boyfriend. ''I did not for one second think he was a romantic option,'' she said.

A few weeks later, though, he took her out to dinner, and afterward they sat on the stoop of her Upper West Side apartment building, holding hands and talking for hours.

As it turned out, while their looks and clothing preferences are different, they are a lot alike. Both love sitting in the front seat of roller coasters. Both are extremely ambitious — they come home from work and then work some more. Both spent childhood on Long Island. And while she grew up in a very traditional Muslim household and he grew up in a Jewish one, neither is devout. As teen-agers, they were both unhappy and considered themselves ugly ducklings.

''I've never been cool, never,'' Ms. Behnegar said. ''I was never Miss Popularity. I can laugh about it now, but at the time, it was very lonely. That's why I like the fabulousness of fashion, because I didn't have that growing up.''

These days, Ms. Behnegar and Mr. Rubenstein are so inseparable that she says she misses him when he's only in the next room. He says he can't wait for her to walk in the door each night. ''Every time she comes home, she scratches on the door like a cat,'' he said. ''I look forward to that every night. I just dig every little thing about her.''

On Aug. 29, they were married in a Unitarian-Universalist ceremony at the Vineyard in Aquebogue, N.Y. The bride wore a slinky Badgley Mischka gown, with a diamond tiara on loan from Fred Leighton planted in her wild, unkempt hair. She towered gorgeously over the bridegroom, who looked a little sheepish holding her hand, as if he still couldn't believe she actually gave him, just a regular guy, her real phone number.


Atoosa Behnegar and Ari Rubenstein [NYT]
Earlier: The 'Toos Would Like To Thank You For Sharing Your Truths