We're bringing back a Gawker tradition of yore: scoring the highfalutin', inferiority-complex inflating Weddings and Celebrations section of the Sunday 'New York Times.' Your host? High-society mole, street anthropologist, and all-around lady: Phyllis Nefler.
"And it's like, everyone gets married in the same SEASON," shrilled a nearby girl into her phone yesterday on the NJ Transit. "Are they trying to BANKRUPT me?"
I feel ya, sister. And if you think the intrusively perky smiley face dominating the cover of today's Sunday Styles is too much to handle, be forewarned that it is a mere preview of the roughly EIGHTY teeth-baring, eyebrow-aligned heads you'll find within.
Back in the day, our dear friend Intern Alexis scoured the wedding announcements week after week. Utilizing a complex algorithm of patrician lineages and "until recently, the bride worked…" stock phrases, she tirelessly worked to identify the couple that best embodied the noble ideals of the Vows section.
On a star-studded weekend like Memorial Day, this is highly cumbersome. In one vertical print column alone we've already racked up degrees from the following institutions: Harvard (3); Princeton, Yale, and Stanford (2 each); NYU, UVA, Georgetown, Berkeley, U Mich, Ole Miss, and Iowa (an MFA, obvs). THAT IS FOR JUST SIX PEOPLE. After awhile, they all start to blend together.
So instead, we present those couples who have gone above and beyond, each in their own way, to earn themselves a motley collection of coveted achievement awards. Onward, down the aisle:
The award for best use of one-upmanship:
I was pretty impressed with Dr. Azadeh Azarbayejani's dad. Homeboy "retired as an economist for both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, and is now a consultant for both." Baller! But wait, what's this, two columns over? Ruth Gerson, another blushing bride, "is a great-granddaughter of the late Harry Dexter White, an economist who helped create the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund." Boom, roasted!
The "Why didn't n+1 get this dude on the 90's panel?" award, to the couple with whom I'd most like to become lifelong friends:
This duo is a breath of fresh air. They were married Thursday at the courthouse, no big deal, no fanfare, and are celebrating today with a laid-back "spiritual ceremony that will include Christian and Buddhist rituals" led by an uncle, who is probably kickass. And the groom "is also the author of "Beck: The Art of Mutation" and "Dave Matthews Band: Music for the People." Hemp necklaces represent! Approve!
The "Larry Bird and Magic Johnson have nothing on this" award, to the couples that best exemplify the spirit of old school rivalry:
Here is actually where I will turn to Intern Alexis' genius scoring system, which seems to have been devised specifically with these pairings in mind:
• "Mr. Lehrman is the chief executive of Cathedral Partners, a firm providing mergers and acquisitions information services to corporations and investment companies in New York": +2
• Eve graduated from Princeton and got her med degree at NYU; Peter from UVA with an MBA at Stanford: +5
• Both Eve and Peter have parents described as senior or founding partners of "investment firms": +6
• Eve's dad, who has a II at the end of his name (+2), is also "the owner and chief executive of White Flower Farm, a plant nursery in Litchfield, Conn": +3
• Peter's dad is also "the author of "Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point" and the former Republican candidate for Governor of New York in 1982: +3
• The bridegroom "researches stocks and investments in environmentally friendly technologies": +2
• Groom goes by middle name: +1
• His mother is on various boards: +2
• Okay, where to begin. The couple "met at Harvard, from which she received a master's degree in public policy and he received an MBA and a masters in public administration" (+10); he graduated magna cum laude (+2) at Princeton (+3) and she with honors (+1) at Cal; she recently completed her second year at Georgetown Law (+1). Tally here: +17, folks.
• Total: 22, with their overeducation juuuust managing to trump Eve and Pete's fancy parents.
The "…" award, to the couple whose towering intellect will render you blinking and speechless:
Let's just say that this announcement includes all of the following phrases: "…Columbia, from which they both received master's degrees in Italian and doctorates in comparative literature," "magna cum laude from Princeton," "Fulbright fellow at the University of Vienna, where she studied Austrian history and German," "Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin at Harvard and the director of Dumbarton Oaks," (woah), "Fulbright fellow in Rome, where he studied Dante and Petrarch," and "assistant professor of Romance studies at Duke." Man, that last one almost seems like a letdown! You think they wrote their own vows?
The award to the couple that most inspires me to embrace The Greatest Recession:
When Rochelle first met David, they were in the West Village and 23 years old. The year, from my calculations - girls are good at math; we'll get to that in a sec - was 2006: heady, thrilling days for dudebros like David who "spent most of the night on his cellphone talking with his boss about an impending deal." Far from being disgusted, Rochelle was intrigued:
From what she heard, the conversation revolved around how much to pay for a certain company … when he was off the phone she asked about the offer for the company and how many times Ebitda it was.
"I think they're going to pay eight times Ebitda," Mr. Fredston-Hermann remembers saying, not quite believing that this attractive young woman with a short skirt and looking, as he said, very fashion forward, was talking his lingo.
"I pulled him aside and said I thought it was too much," Ms. Gores said. "My daddy would never pay more than five," she told him.
They had the wedding at her daddy's house in Beverly Hills. I wonder how much he paid? That announcement ends with a finance pun so horrifying that I refuse to reproduce it in this space.
Okay, that last one may have gotten me a little cranky. But here's the antidote: the featured story of two women who fell in love based on a few weeks of witty email banter and phone convos and were making out in cabs and engaged within twelve hours of finally meeting "IRL". I actually teared up while reading this one! "Part of my identity is being a cynical New Yorker," remarks Kay Diaz, who confesses that she has been smiling so much since meeting Kate Adamick that her cheeks hurt. "By being so happy, am I going to lose my edge?"
Maybe! And, you know, hopefully. We could all stand to soften up a bit, lose the attitude, grow some smile lines. It's a beautiful weekend, today is basically a second Saturday, and these couples have asked us to share in their joy. Forget the fact that they're all co-opting our national holiday weekend for their festival of celebration. I believe in love!
Let's just hope that Daddy does too.