Do you remember the bloody battle between Dubya and Kerry? Phyllis Nefler does. So do the NYT's bitchy Weddings & Celebrations editors, who love a juicy broadsheet when they can make one. The battle royale continues. Also, look: meerkats!
I was minding my own business this morning, ambling through the Sunday Styles (true confessions: I'm like, legitimately excited about Eileen Fisher's Shifting Silhouette, a reaction made more all the more alarming by the fact that billboards for Not Your Daughter's Jeans have also piqued my interest of late; I'm 26) when I was slapped in the face by a page-length column headlined by...Vanessa Kerry.
Sometimes the Vows section has a slow build, with the payoff tucked away in the back pages. Not so today: Dr. Kerry's wedding to Dr. Brian Nahed gives you a full dose of high society on the opening kickoff. What could sit more squarely in the Times' wheelhouse than a wedding featuring a carved granite-faced Senator, orator, and windsurfer as the father of the (Harvard and Yale-educated Fulbright Scholar) bride?
But as it sweetly turns out, John Kerry is the mother of the bride as well, filling in for the late Julia Thorne, who died in 2006. The announcement describes him picking out tents and sketching wedding dress suggestions—"Until this day, we have no idea what it was," critiqued Vanessa—and I must admit, I've got a pretty good mental image going on right now of Kerry, head tilted and brow furrowed, gravely discussing the merits of the calla lilly versus the peony but never actually making a decision.
The announcement is satisfying, if somewhat standard. But wait, what's this announcement located directly adjacent? Let's skim here: Whitney Crawford and Gregory Vasey, okay, don't know 'em ... Palmetto Bluff, nice ... Harvard Law, check ... "owns two Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises", hmm, questionable, but Barack Obama did eat Five Guys and I'm sure the franchises are doing well during these back-to-burgers recessionary times, and he's from Greenwich, so okay ... wait, what's this last sentence?
2004. Wasn't that...? OMG.
Look, I don't know what undermining editor at the Times made this deliciously bitchy layout decision, but all I'm saying is that it sounds like someone has been on the boring end of a few too many John Kerry public speaking engagements in his day. Me-ow.
"The couple met when the bride was a high school senior and he was her calculus tutor."
I just love that they casually threw that in there right at the end, forcing tens of readers to frantically scan back for ages (she's 28, he's 36) and any other information irrevocably changed by this new revelation. Ha ha, like how he "received a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Brown." Fuck yeah he did!
This week's featured Vows spotlight shines quirkily upon Brooke Alexander and Marko Zelenovic, otherwise known to friends as "the Croation Sensation". An ocean-loving Hawaiian with "wild hair, a loud whistle and a strong aloha spirit," Alexander moved to New York and became a model and soap opera actress. At 39 and still single, she decided to have a baby, leading to her skepticism a year later when a friend wanted to set her up.
"I'm in my 40s, I'm a mother," Ms. Alexander remembered telling her friend. "I don't date guys who are named Marko and teach tennis in Southampton."
Words to live by, usually, but then Marko took a cab from the airport straight to Elaine's (which by law has to be namedropped in any article involving an older single women). Ultimately, he turned out to be such a gentleman, sleeping on the couch in her apartment for three years out of respect for her and her son, that he earned her trust.
"Jace said, 'Mommy, I don't have a daddy, do I?'" she recounted. "And I said, 'We have something better. We have a Marko.'"
That's not a salesman, honey. That's your daddy.
Elsewhere this weekend, everyone getting hitched will want to kiss up to this daughter of the Dalton admissions director in a few years; I would have thought the career path would be from MoveOn.org to The Onion and not the other way around; and you will probably want an umbrella if it rains.
This week's Featured Matchup:
• Dungan graduated from Yale: +3
• Dungan is an independent film producer who produced "Transamerica" and Soloway is a law firm partner: +5
• Soloway is a founder of Immigration Equality, "a nonprofit advocacy organization": +1
• Dungan's mother is a Beverly Hills real estate agent: +1
• The ceremony was held at the Water Mill home of Barry Skovgaard and Marc Wolinsky, powergays who have a collection of 500 ceramic cow creamers: +3
• The couple met online: +1
• Soloway's online dating profile included a picture of his baby daughter Lily: +2, because single parent dating is "on trend" this weekend.
• On their first date, with Lily in a stroller, "they spent a couple of hours walking around NoHo, where Mr. Dungan stopped to buy a blazer": +5 gay points
• They're both really attractive and, in keeping with ideal Times photograph standards, look like they could be brother and brother: +4
• The couple met in 2001 at Carnegie Mellon, from which they graduated, she with college honors and he with university honors: +3
• The bride is a Fulbright scholar and has a master's in foreign service from Georgetown: +3
• The bride has studied and worked in India and Sri Lanka: +1
• The groom received a master's degree in international development from Cambridge and a cum laude law degree from Harvard: +8
• The groom works for the National Abortion Federation: +1
• The groom's mother is on the board of the Anti-Defamation League and Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts: +2
• The announcement includes this group of sentences: "We've been dating for eight years, and have been in 10 different time zones combined, Mr. Egerman said. "When I was in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific in 2004 for three months, she was in Pittsburgh. When I was in England in 2006, she was in India. And, when I came back to law school in 2007, she moved to Sri Lanka. Finally for the past two years I was in Cambridge and she was in Washington DC.": + ...
Total: My calculator just broke. You win. You always do.