Over the past decade (that is our time unit of choice now, right?) a lot of annoying couples have been profiled by the New York Times. But these yurt-dwelling neo-back-to-the-landers might take the self-satisfied cake.
Oh, Jesus, where to begin with Bretwood Higman, 33, and Erin McKittrick, 30? It appears that the single non-annoying thing the couple did together was to take a trip to Mexico as young students at Carleton College. After that, they got married and some weird chemical reaction occurred which made them only able to engage in that special kind of behavior that irritates us then makes us feel sort of guilty for being so irritated. You know the kind! (It is the worst.)
Many New York Times couples irritate us in this way. (Remember No Impact Man?) But Higman and McKittrick's bucolic life in the wilderness of Alaska is like an obnoxious onion: It has layers. The exasperating details peel back to reveal even more excruciating ones hidden beneath. Here is how it works in Sarah Maslin's article:
Annoying: After getting married, Higman and McKittrick embarked on an adventure wherein they walked, skied and rafted 4,000 miles .
More Annoying: "Ms. McKittrick's account of the adventure, 'A Long Trek Home,' was published in October.
Annoying: Last year, they decided to move with their 11-month-old son to a rudimentary yurt outside a small town in Alaska.
More Annoying: "They decided they could live without running water, shower, bath or a working toilet, but they had to have broadband Internet access."
Annoying: They decided against a propane heater because "Each step you take in that direction is a step away from the wilderness."
More Annoying: Because of this, their kitchen is "so cold that homemade yogurt resting on the plywood floor stays chilled."
Annoying: They are well educated but do not have full-time jobs because they say they value their time over money. Instead, they make jewelry and raise awareness about the environment.
More Annoying: "Absent the need to work 9 to 5, there is time for snowshoeing in winter and gathering wild nettles to eat in the spring "
And so, on the eve of the brilliant new decade, Bretwood Higman and Erin McKittrick may have become the single most irritating couple to ever appear in the pages of the New York Times. We can only speculate as to what annoying couples the 2010s will bring.