If marriage is an institution, Phyllis Nefler is the McMurphy to the Nurse Ratchet of the Sunday NYT Weddings & Celebrations, editor Robert Woletz. Contained herein: deodorant, Seinfeld, cults, MENSA, and wonderful/bad vagina jokes. On bended knee, Altarcations is back.
If you've just spent yet another weekend as the lonely single at a wedding table full of smug couples, perhaps you ought to consider advice from a great dating guru of our time:
George: . . . and I got a date with the sales woman. She's got a little Marisa Tomei thing going on.
Jerry: Ah, too bad you got a little George Costanza thing going on.
George: I'm going out with her tomorrow, she said she had some errands to run.
Jerry: That's a date?
George: What's the difference? You know the way I work, I'm like a commercial jingle. First it's a little irritating, then you hear it a few times, you hum it in the shower, by the third date it's "By Mennen!"
It's not a bad idea. (Related; Jason Kottke prefers Old Spice.) But wait just one minizzle, turns out the joke's on you: Kristin Hunter-Thomson, "the great-great-granddaughter of Gerhard Heinrich Mennen, who in 1878 founded the Mennen Company, the person-care products manufacturer" was wed this weekend to Malin Pinsky, the great-great-grandson of "John La Farge, the artist".
You will die alone, I think. (But first, enjoy this old Speed Stick commercial!)
Mary Ziegler and John Roberts III also had a friend, Piper Dorrance, email in a form that vested her with Universal Life sanctioned cere-matrimonial powers so she could officiate at their happy day. Amazingly, Piper didn't even catch the "best insipid name beginning with Pi" bouquet, because it went to the groom: "John Lucas Roberts III – known to friends as Pickle". Nice!
Have you been reading Marisa Meltzer's serial novella thing on The Awl? It's pretty fantastic. And this could easily be one of its opening lines: "Mary Theresa Ziegler never cared for the love seat she bought for $50 at a street sale in Brooklyn in 2004."
Which was okay, you see, because Pickle was in a pickle: divorced and furnitureless! When he brought ladies home, they had nowhere to sit but the bed! Not wanting to lose an opportunity to slip one the pickle, Pickle turned to Craigslist where he saw the fateful listing for Mary's ugly couch. Note to all you sad L-Train suckers hanging out on Missed Connections: the furniture section is where it's at.
(NOTE: The actual caption on this photo, part of an absurd Times photo gallery from Pickle's wedding, is: After exchanging vows, the couple leaves the ceremony, basking in the light of flashing cameras. Did Yao Ming get hired to write copy for the Paper of Record while I was on vacay last week?)
Hey look, another pair who went the Universal Life route! (I am obsessed.) These two are overachievers: Brittan Heller graduated from Stanford with a bachelors and a master and then attended Yale Law, where she met Nathaniel Gleicher during a boring series of semi-flirtatious encounters, which the Times recounts in tedious detail, at information sessions for prospective stuents. In one conversation, Gleicher (fresh off a stint in St. Vincent and the Grenadines) defended his Peace Corps cred:
"Everyone thought it was a cushy assignment on a Caribbean beach," he said. But in reality, he told her, in his two years there he found poverty and AIDS, and wrestled with the area's odd inconsistencies. (People had cellphones and flat-screen televisions, he said, but often no running water.)"
Hmm. Sounds like … a cushy assignment on a Caribbean beach!
Anyway, a gentle question for Heller: girl, didn't your long national nightmare as one of the two Yale Law students who sued the AutoAdmit trolls teach you better than to weave your tragic tale into your Times wedding announcement? Just wondering, because I did not know your name before, but now that you piqued my interest I sure do!
Elsewhere, Ken Auletta's daughter got hitched, and I demand a copyediting correction because as Gawker has been dogged in reporting, there is an Official Period at the end of WSJ. Magazine, where she works. Let's blame Alessandra!
Also, I liked this line, about the man that former Key Biscayne mayor Robert Oldakowski is marrying: "Mr. Mendoza, also 67, was until 1988 a commodities broker at Merrill Lynch in New York". So like, has he just been straight chilling since then? Lounge on, old man!
There won't be a faceoff this week, because our heavyweight champions, Adina Yoffie and Matthew Feigin, are totally undisputed. To wit:
Bride graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and groom magna cum laude from Yale: +12
Bride received a master's degree in Harvard followed by a PhD in European history: +5
Groom received law degree and a masters in public policy from Harvard: +5
Bride was a Fulbright scholar in Germany for two years: +2
Bride's father is "the president of the Union for Reform Judaism in New York: +1
Groom's mother, a former Justice Department lawyer, "is conducting oral histories for the District of Columnbia Court Historical Society about women who were pioneers in the American Bar Association and other people who have had an effect on the courts": +2
TOTAL: 27. My non-Mensa brain just exploded.
(One thing I noticed about the Yoffie/Feigin announcement is this: "Rabbi Aryeh Klapper will officiate at Mayfair Farms, a catering and event site in West Orange, NJ." People always gasp in disbelief over lines like "the groom's previous two marriages ended in divorce", but that's standard policy. At least the Times remains consistent! But I feel like it's way more passive aggressive when the writers cut something down with the "catering and event site" description. Like, when does it kick into effect? You never see them say "The Rainbow Room, a catering and event site in Manhattan". Just a thought.)
Regardless of whether someone in the Weddings department deserves a catty meow, there's no denying that someone else has a wicked sense of humor. Because I mean just please read the following, which is IN THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF A LESBIAN COUPLE:
"She's also passionate about other things besides her work," she said, noting that Ms. Lash was fixated on the Cornell works depicting boxes.
Ms. Ertman asked what she loved so much about the boxes. "I don't have words to express the way I feel when I see those boxes of things that don't seem to go together," she quoted Ms. Lash's reply.
That was a perfect answer, Ms. Ertman thought: "My whole life is a box with things that don't go together."
WHAT. Robert Woletz, you goddamn scoundrel. You've completely outdone yourself this time.