Intern Alexis, who usually applies a complicated ratings system to the couples featured in the Times' Weddings and Celebrations section to determine who has won the game of life, is out of town. So Emily is filling in. She doesn't believe in point systems, or the bourgeois institution of marriage.
So if Intern Alexis was here, we'd guess that Catherine Roach and Joshua Chafetz, who both graduated from Yale, she summa cum laude and he magna cum laude, would be the winners of Altarcations based on Yaliness alone. (They'd beat out New York Observer executive editor Peter Stevenson's wedding announcement, even though it's something of a shocker.) Roach's parents are even professors at Yale. Josh's parents are professors too. She's 27 and she's getting her doctorate in art history at Columbia and she's keeping her name—even though, hello? Crap name!—so she must be sort of a feminist. So it surprises us, in a way, to learn about her nuptials via the Times. Or actually, to learn about her nuptials at all. Because, when you think about it, marriage is a tool that the patriarchy uses to oppress women, just like it's always been. Oh, and love is a lie.
Seriously, ladies. Isn't it kind of bizarre that, after all these years, we're still pretending that the day you acknowledge that a dude other than your father is your new lord and master is the happiest day of your life? The reason so many marriages fail is that our culture still forcefeeds us this happily-ever-after shit in TV shows (except "Charm School"!) and movies and books too countless to enumerate and too interchangeable to single out. Deep down, even the most liberated lady among us has found herself thinking, "Well, I'll find the love of my life and he'll also just happen to be a rich dude who, despite being a gorgeous catch, will never desire sex with any of the countless women who are bound to throw themselves at him for the entire rest of his life?" Sure, we sort of know it's delusional. Sort of. But we keep on believing, because how many counter-examples are there of happily single men and women, living their lives for themselves? There certainly isn't a fucking section of the New York Times devoted to their exploits every weekend.
So let's take a closer look at Catherine and Josh's union, just for example. These lovebirds are both 27, both working in the same field (academia), both clearly type-A high achievers. According to the announcement, they met when they were studying abroad in London in 2000. Whoa, that was seven years ago. Do you think the person you are at age 20 might be a different person than who you are at age 27, maybe a little? Still, though, they decided to tie the knot. They're probably pretty comfortable with each other by now. And definitely really busy with other things, what with their doctorates and writing books and such. It must be nice to come home at the end of a long day and just plop down on the couch next to someone who you don't even have to talk to. And they're still young and possibly attractive enough to still have a good sex life without putting so much effort or thought into it, even though maybe there's this creepy sameiness to it, but Catherine usually puts that out of her mind and just focuses on all the things she loves about Joshua. He's only 27 and he's already written a book! He was a Rhodes Scholar! There's no guarantee that she's going to find another guy like that, after all. And her family really likes him, and all their books and furniture are hopelessly jumbled together. Getting married just seems like the next logical step. They are taking their relationship to the next level.
So what happens on the next level? Well, hard work, certainly, in both their academic fields. And maybe they have a baby or two and move to Montclair. There might be a guy in Catherine's department that she flirts with sometimes, or Josh might get totally trashed during the celebrations when Obama's elected and accidentally make out with that hot intern. But overall, they'll stay faithful, for the sake of the kids and the house and everything they've got together. Maybe occasionally they'll feel like there's something missing. Maybe one or the other of them will crave that feeling that they had that summer at Oxford in 2000 when they first met, that bubbling, heart-pounding anticipation, that clenching feeling of lying in bed at night and wondering if the other one was thinking about them. It'll get hard to remember what that feels like. It's just the way love goes, becoming something deeper and richer over time, or so they'll tell themselves. And then, someday, they'll die.
Congratulations, kids! Mazel tov.