Technology. Love. Love. Technology. Poking. IM-ing. Can we live in this interconnected powder-keg and give off sparks? These, and other pressing nuptial quandaries faced our embedded wedded bliss reporter Phyllis Nefler as she sifted through this week's Weddings and Celebrations.
In our ultra-connected, beepity-boppity wifi world, the intrusion of technology into the delicate dance of courtship is a sad inevitability. ("I don't know what to do!" exclaimed one friend of mine recently, staring at her dead phone. "Why don't you just email him from your Blackberry?" I suggested. "I can't do that!" she exclaimed. "We only talk via text. I can't just switch devices!")
It's likely the case that anyone who got into a relationship after 1999 has some story about a social networking snafu or a game-changing IM conversation. So it's funny when the Times tries to write about it, painting quotidian online interactions — "I poked him; he "liked" me! — as suspenseful turning points.
Such is the case with Kristen Scipione and Vincent Scorza III, who met online. (The announcement's wording is hilariously polite: "The couple were introduced in 2007 through Match.com…" as if Match.com were an old society dame.) But Kristen was apprehensive: she recognized a coworker in one of Vincent's photos, and didn't want people to know about her secret online dating exploits. It was not meant to be!
Ah, but it was:
But then Mr. Scorza, who had noticed her tagline was Pretty Bird Pretty Bird, a reference to the movie "Dumb and Dumber," sent her a message anyway. Ms. Scipione explained that if prospective beaus did not get the reference, then they probably were not right for her.
Not only did Mr. Scorza get it, but also she said she broke into laughter when he wrote back with another line from the film.
Oh my god, what was the money line? I have a feeling it was a strained play on "so you're telling me there's a chance," but I'd really have respect for the man if he went with something more obtuse, like Big Gulps. Guess we'll never know.
The mundane online back-and-forth between a second couple is sold by the Times as being even higher-stakes: the copy on the main Weddings website warns, ominously, "A misdirected e-mail message almost meant that you wouldn't be reading this announcement now." First of all, WHAT? Second of all, here is the harrowing tale of the "misdirected e-mail message":
Before leaving the party, he got Ms. Youn's two e-mail addresses, but he could make out only one when he got home, and sent her a note saying "I'm asking you out" in the subject line.
The next morning he slept through the alarm, and missed his flight to Jackson Hole. When he finally arrived, he checked his e-mail and found there was no response from Ms. Youn.
"I was perplexed," he recalled thinking. "I thought it was real."
He e-mailed their mutual friend to see if he had the right address. She told him that the first address was a work address, and steered him to the other one; he promptly forwarded his original message.
"How magical it was," Ms. Youn remembered thinking when she saw it.
Mr. Armstrong received her response minutes later, and they arranged to meet the day he returned to New York.
Not only was I let down by the high expectations built up by the cliffhanger preview text, I'm almost perplexed: that e-mail exchange sounds like it went more smoothly than about 75% of my own correspondence does, ever. I certainly look forward to having my dreary inbox picked over by Rosalie R. Radomsky someday.
Jessica Bram and Robert Cooper also first connected over e-mail, but the article spares us the blow-by-blow. A writer whose life philosophy was summed up by the title of her book, "Happily Ever After Divorce," Bram nevertheless became taken with Cooper, a software developer and part-time musician who "in his free time played keyboards with blues and doo-wop bands."
She learned the value of havin' a man around when a staph infection in her spine laid her up in the hospital for 88 days. Cooper "often drove from Boston and slept in a chair in her room." Aw!
Cooper's not the only one proving that chivalry's not dead: Darria Long had her own come-to-Jesus moment about Bryce Gillespie when she complained about having to fill her car with gas on a cold Rochester night. Gillespie offered to do it:
"I was sitting there inside the car," she said. "He had on his hat, his coat and his gloves and I was thinking, ‘Who does this?' " She added: "I thought I could get used to spending some time with this guy. He was kind and a protector and just plain cute."
It's a good thing that the relationship worked out, or Gillespie's attempts to get her attention by hanging around the cadaver lab at med school would have all been for naught. (No, seriously: the article's preview text explains that "Sometimes, love can spark over a cadaver.")
My favorite couple this weekend, hands down, is Julie Horowitz and Ian Wallace. Look at this woman! Is this not a woman you want to get pedicures with and gossip about mutual friends? But she's even more than that incredibly voluminous hair suggests: a Yale business school grad and former Fulbright Scholar who is now married to an adorable man. Ian Wallace is so British that he is a diplomat at the embassy in Washington! Don't you just need to spend a weekend hanging out with this pair?
Or perhaps you're a more free-spirited type, in which case you might be pals with Jen Rogers and Alex Taylor (one of two Alex Taylors to be wed; I look forward to some sort of correction noting that they accidentally switched the photos like so many newborn babies). This wins the day for the Brooklynest intro:
Jen Lacey Rogers and Alex Bernick Tyalor were married Saturday evening at the Galapagos Art Space, a performing arts and event site in Brooklyn. Brian J. Hashimoto, a friend of the couple who became a Universal Life minister for this event, officiated.
"Look at these fucking married hipsters," said the subject line of an email from Richard Blakeley containing this screencap. Indeed.
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Elsewhere this weekend, the daughter of a couple who "were the founders of Soap Opera Digest and other publications" luckily doesn't seem to have been screwed up too badly; a Massachusetts Appeals Court justice married a young law associate; and we learn a new peril of being a freelancer: if your most recent job was, say, producing "The South by Southwest 2010 Wrap Up," well then that is the job that will be forever enshrined in your wedding announcement in the New York Times.
This week's Faceoff:
• The bride has two master's degrees, "one in East Asian studies from Yale and another in social work from New York University": +5
• The groom "graduated from Cornell and was a Fulbright fellow in 2000 and 2001 in Taipei, Taiwan, where he studied Chinese theater art forms. He received a master's degree in playwriting from Yale": +9
• The groom's plays include "Killer Instant: Asians Who Love Guns and the People Who Love Them" and "Po Boy Tango": +2
• The wedding took place at "Atlantis Marine World, an aquarium in Riverhead, NY": -1
Monica Youngna Youn and Whitney Brewster Armstrong (pictured above)
• The groom's name is "Whitney Brewster Armstrong": +1
• The bride "graduated cum laude from Princeton, and recieved a Master of Philosophy in English literature from Oxford, where she was also a Rhodes Scholar. She also holds a law degree from Yale": +13
• "The groom graduated cum laude from Yale and received a master's in landscape architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard":+8
• The wedding was done by an Episcopal priest: +1
• The groom's mother's name is "Bunty" and she is the director of the Women's Prison Association: +1
• The groom's father was a founding director of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and a director at the Whitney in NY: +2
• A flight to Jackson Hole is namechecked several times: +1