Altarcations are birthing friendships from our loins. Wonder if Phyllis Nefler will help this week's NYT Weddings & Celebrations elite fraternize over love of pervy facial hair and difficulties paying for pricey gay marriages. Bonds: we make them happen.
We here at Altarcations are aware that we provide a Sunday service of sorts, parsing for perfection so you don't have to! But little did we realize the potential for our product. This heartwarming missive landed in our inbox this week:
On August 16, we were subjects of Phyllis Nefler's Altarcations nuptial scoring.
Having not met the other couple, but realizing we were in the same neighborhood, we arranged to meet for beers and bratwurst. It was quite an enjoyable time – visual evidence is attached. Many thanks for making the introduction.
(Adorable) visual evidence of the four friendly Duke Blue Devils was indeed attached, and I was so overjoyed that I contemplated making it the background of my laptop. (It narrowly lost out to this.) So I mean, watch your back Mark Zuckerberg! Altarcations: the hot new social networking tool for America's best and brightest. I'm gonna monetize this shit. You don't even know. [Ed. Don't give Nick any ideas. I hear he's bored.]
Speaking of monetizing shit, the Times has a grim and handy feature this weekend about the financial costs and benefits of marriage. (They frame it as "The High Price of Being a Gay Couple".) Of course, the "hypothetical gay couple" falls squarely into the wealthy Times reader demographic:
We gave our couple an income of $140,000, which is about the average income in those three states for unmarried same-sex partners who are college-educated, 30 to 40 years old and raising children under the age of 18.
Also, they never shop at JC Penney. Incidentally, none of the wedding announcements this week featured a gay or lesbian couple, but they made up for it with this cute little ad:
Nice touch—I wonder which Etsy member made that for them?
Anyway, I thought we'd get this party started with a Couple I Actually Like. Salimah el-Amin is a freelance producer and researcher who won an Emmy for her work on the 2008 documentary "Taxi to the Dark Side", which explored America's policy on torture and interrogation. (Her resume also includes "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson" in addition to such lighter fare as "How Bruce Lee Changed The World.")
Her husband Ted Larkin is an MIT grad with seriously tremendous-sounding parents: his father is a retired jazz musician who headlined an eponymous band while his late mother "wrote more than 100 books, including many romantic novels, notably the "Harvest of Desire" series." Which: I am thisclose to pulling the trigger on at PaperBackSwap.com. Check out the description! It's like William Faulkner meets Harlequin.
And I've gotta give a shoutout to Mark Coatney, the senior articles editor at Newsweek.com who is also the mystery man behind the surprisingly with-it Newsweek Tumblr.
("The funny thing is, in the old days this would be known simply as, you know, opening a Detroit bureau..." he quipped in reaction to the "news" that Time Inc. had purchased a house in Detroit for a year so reporters could contribute a project called "Assignment Detroit." Droll!) His bride, Kristina Dell, is a freelance writer working for the Gates Foundation with degrees from Yale and UVA and a father who was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Also, David Dinkins "took part" in the wedding.
The Times certainly has a hard-on for musical performers, no? Just a few weeks ago the featured Vows spot was given to some adulterous opera singers, and this weekend we witness the happy union of Broadway director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall and producer Scott Landis, who teamed up together on the revival of The Pajama Game and are now playing their own ... oh, I can't. It's too easy.
Marshall and Landis have a cute story filled with theater dork references that went over my head:
Another special moment occurred while playing Celebrity, the game in which players put names of famous people in a hat, reach in and pull out one at random, then give clues about whom they have picked.
"I said, ‘I'm an old-time actor with a pencil-thin mustache,' " Mr. Landis said. She promptly reeled out a list: David Niven, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn and Adolphe Menjou ("A Star Is Born"). "When she hit Adolphe Menjou, I knew she was the girl for me."
Ladies, who'd like a mustache ride?
The proposal story is a cute one: "perfect, awkward and romantic", and witnessed by her dog Molly. (Though I should note, as the proud owner of two Wheaten Terriers — one of them who happens to bear the middle name of this poor groom — that the Times misspelled the name of the breed.) And the wedding was filled with what former Jersey guvnah Brendan Byrne, taking a page from Gawker's own Emily Gould, referred to as "Google-able names":
They included the actors Victor Garber and Carol Kane; the composer and writer Rupert Holmes; the producer Kevin McCollum; and the bride's brother, Rob Marshall, the Broadway and film director.
Ah, Rob Marshall's sister! I love it when they bury the lede. However, all morning I was wrongly picturing Ron Howard in my head, so I have to admit I am a little let down.
Now, a few assorted questions. Which is worse: attending an Ivy Plus event or being on the board of the "Society of Mayflower Descendents of New York State"? Which is a better claim to fame: being "the granddaughter of the bandleader Benny Goodman" or "the granddaughter of the late Ridgely W. Harrison, Jr., who lived in Palm Beach and whose face was used in the "Mr. Jenkins" advertisements for Tanqueray gin in the 1990's"? Can you believe there is a person out there named "Richard Dickinson Jewett Constable"? And finally, does it get any blonder than this?
This week's faceoff:
• Bride graduated cum laude from Tulane and magna cum laude from Harvard Law: +8
• Groom graduated from the University of Glasgow and got a master's degree with "first-class honors" +3, I guess?
• Groom also graduated as a "master brewer" from the Siebel Institute of Technology and World Brewing: +5, definitely.
• Bride is a law professor and director of the Domestic Violence Clinic at the Tulane Law School as well as the chairwoman of the State Library of Louisiana Board: +3
• Bride's mother is a biblical scholar: +1
• The couple met as delegates at the conference of the British American Project: +2
• The couple's relationship timing is mildly sketchy ("Ms. Tetlow returned to New Orleans, where she had a boyfriend. Mr. Stewart returned to Glasgow to his wife and baby boy."): +2
• The bride printed out 100 pages of emails and had them bound as a present for the groom: -3, because come on, I was doing that shit in middle school.
• Bride graduated cum laude from Dartmouth and received her MBA from Harvard: +8
• Groom graduated from Princeton and recieved his MBA from Wharton: +7
• Bride's father is a senior law partner man and her mother is on the board of the Jewish Family Service: +2
• Upon meeting in 2008, couple got into a heated debate (aka "fun, intellectual sparring") about Obama versus Hillary: +2
• The couple went to dinner and the chivalrous groom wouldn't let her leave her laptop in the backseat of his car. But he left his in the car, it was stolen, and Amy Yamner knew she loved him when she watched him sweep broken glass off the backseat: +3
• In the end, they worked together on the Obama campaign: +2
TOTAL: 24. THE LAPTOP REPRESENTS WHITE LIBERAL GUILT, PEOPLE.
Anyway, Amy and John: if you're ever in N'awlins you should totally get together with Tania and Gordon for crawfish and champagne! Email us if you want. We're always happy to coordinate.