Phyllis Nefler is back up in this! She's well rested from vacation and is in the shotgun position to take on this week's NYT's Weddings & Celebrations, filled with funny hats, Jews, iPods, and a serious lack of N.W.A. Typical.
I need to get something off my chest: today I stole a neighbor's New York Times. It's not a big deal, I've decided: I live in a giant apartment building and there's no way that each subscriber goes down to the lobby and rifles through until he finds his exact paper with his exact name, you know? I mean, and some of them must be out of town. So what I was doing was making the process less wasteful, really.
Many special thanks to Lilit Marcus for filling in last week and introducing us to the wonder that is the Southern Wedding. I was thinking about her last night (this morning? I don't even know what day it is anymore) when I was at the airport seated next to a group of gals hailing from well below the Mason-Dixon line. They were all at rapt attention listening to one bride-to-be discuss her dress.
"I couldn't find a wedding dress that was me enough, so I've been tryin' on white formal gowns instead," she explained. "The dress that I think is the one is to die for is just sequins and sparkles all the way up. And it has a pouffy train…"
Here she stood up and motioned from herself to the wall, a distance that I estimated to be at least six feet.
Just as journalist Heidi Moore grasped last week for language we could use to identify hipsters in the collective, I think we need to come up with a word for that particular bride and her ladies. A rhinestone of southern women? A gossip of gals? A cackle? A platinum? A whoopdedoo?
Reached via Twitter, Lilit decreed: "The technical term is 'all y'all.' We will also accept "a pageant." Now we know!
Reading her stories last week, along with those in the comments, really piqued my interest in the unique monster that is the Southern Wedding. (I feel like I have to capitalize it!) So please, if anyone has any great blush and bashful-colored tales, please send them to us and we'll run the best ones.
Anyway, I'm apparently not the only one who is loopy this weekend: the hell, Times? On the first page alone we've already got a bride named Batsheva and three people wearing funny hats.
Emily Eerdmans, she of the—what is that, a fedora? Beret?—is a design historian and adjunct FIT instructor who has written real books, the kinds that are borne out of research and not blogs. Her mother owns a pottery store. I really want Emily to do something crazy or historically important so that Renee Zellweger can play her in a biopic someday.
Pay attention to the hats, you'll be tested on it later. Jennifer Pehr and Jon Ross met in 2005 "while Mr. Ross was appearing in Walking In Memphis: The Life of a Southern Jew, his autobiographical one-man show in New York." Jennifer was intrigued, reviewing the show thusly:
There were such significant events. His mother's passing, when his barber taught him about sex. The funny thing is that he's now bald.
[Ed. OMG. I've actually seen his show before. Don't ask, it's a Jewish Summer Camp thing. But HOLY SHIT.]
The engagement, "inspired by a scene from the 1999 remake of 'The Thomas Crown Affair,' one of her favorite films" involved "having a dozen friends stationed around [the Met] galleries in bowlers, offering riddles and clues."
That's actually really freaking cool! I hate to say it but: hats off to Jon. She should be glad, though, he didn't try to model it around the topless beach scene, if you know what I'm saying. ("Mom?!")
Jennifer and Jon may have been married by "the spiritual leader of Storahtelling, a Jewish organization," but even they can't compete with groom Michael Altman, who as the son of two judges "grew up putting biblical figures on trial at the Sabbath table."
A widowered father of two, Altman was introduced to Batsheva From, a "vibrant single" who "frequented Russian bathhouses in the city!" Oh my GOD, again with the Russian bathhouses! That is the second time in less than two months!
Before their first date, to a kosher restaurant in midtown, From told Altman that she had a headache; he offered some Tylenol. Here is where you and I, jokingly or not jokingly, would request an upgrade to some Vicodin. Not so Ms. From: "she asked if he could pick up some Excedrin instead." Because her job is that she is a f'reals NARC!
The couple dated on and off and on and off for awhile, which seems kind of tough for his poor kids, but got back in touch last March:
Mr. Altman noticed that Ms. From, whom he had never defended on Facebook, had listed her status as "shaken and stirred." Concerned, he inquired whether she was O.K. (She had been in a six-car highway crash, but was unhurt.)"
He proposed by giving her an iPod Touch (saucy!) that said "I love you. Will you marry me PLEASE?" And here I should note that Foster emailed me at like 3am with the burning question of whether it came preloaded with songs or not, concluding that "Eazy E's "Automobile" was left off the playlist."
Elsewhere this weekend, although one couple grew up near each other and their parents "haven known each other for more than 30 years and even attended the same Lamaze class together," the pair did not meet "until they found each other on JDate"; an Evil Investment Banker wedded a fifth grade teacher at a school for the deaf in the marriage equivalent of buying carbon offsets; and holy nostalgia, the former CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania married the president and CEO of the Franklin Institute museum.
This week's matchup:
• The bride's parents are "of Dobbs Ferry" and New York and the groom's parents from Miami: +2
• "Rabbi Judith Kempler officiated at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Fla.": +1
• The bride is pursuing an MFA in "dramaturgy" at Columbia (doesn't that sound like it should have something to do with curing rashes?): +4
• The groom is in the real estate group at Goldman Sachs: +1
• The bride's father is "the managing partner of the Miami law firm Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price and Axelrod": +2
• "The couple exchanged vows under a provision of Pennsylvania law that allows couples to marry without an officiant, as in the Quaker tradition": +1
• The bride is keeping her name: -1
• The bride graduated from Northwestern and received a law degree from BC and a master's in journalism from Columbia: +5
• The groom graduated cum laude from Yale and earned an MBA from Wharton: +8
• "He has been an adviser to Wahidullah Shahrani, Afghanistan's minister of commerce and industry": +1
• The couple met "when they were at a hangout for expatriates and journalists in Bangkok, 'and we just started talking about books.'": +2
Remember, send in your most darrrlin' stories of wacky weddings in the deep south and we'll go on a cultural excursion from here in Manhattan. It'll be no Girl Scout field trip to the Franklin Institute, but nothing really is.