Did you hear that Olympic gymnast and famous ankle-breaker Kerri Strug got married this weekend? She did, and it was in the New York Times. Which means our resident weddings expert Phyllis Nefler will judge it like a floor routine.
Where were YOU on July 23, 1996, the day Kerri Strug landed, on a badly-injured ankle, the famous vault that handed the United States the gold medal in the team all-around over the evil Russian empire?
I was backpacking in Colorado on one of those Outward Bound-knockoff teen trips, actually, so I didn't see it live. It was only days later, when we returned to civilization to take showers and sneak makeout sessions behind the laundromat, that we heard the news.
Luckily, I was enough of a creepy Olympics fangirl to have made my mom promise to tape record "all the gymnastics and synchronized swimming" while I was away. So I ultimately did watch as the little pixie-haired creature, all sparkles and sinew, stuck her vault on basically one foot before collapsing in tears.
Can you imagine the meme-tastic explosion online if that happened today? Like, the mashups and LOLStrugs and blogs with names like Fuck Yeah Marta Karolyi and the subsequent Virginia Heffernan essay about what it all means? It was one of the most dramatic moments in Olympic history, with both the thrill of victory and the agony of the feet.
"My entire adolescence was geared toward one thing: gymnastics," Strug says today in her NYT wedding announcement. "It's like I was living in this big gymnastics bubble. I never went to my high school dance, and didn't date much."
But where she once landed vaults, she's now landed…a man! She and Robert Fischer III were introduced by a mutual friend and fell for each other based partially on their like-mindedly conservative political views. Which is almost as disappointing as when I learned that in hindsight, Strug could have actually sat that vault out completely and the USA still would have won.
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Strug's announcement is immediately adjacent to a featured Vows story so beyond that I half expected Lois Smith Brady to jump out of a fondant-covered cake at the end, or, more likely, an engagement ringed- hand to pop out from the page and punch me in the face. Which it basically did, repeatedly, right from the first two paragraphs:
By age 12, Alexandra Victoria Lammers knew how to bake bread from scratch, braid a horse's mane, pin a kilt, and set a dinner table correctly.
She grew up in a big stone house in Villanova, Pa., in a refined environment full of opera, formal teas and trips to Europe. Her mother, Suzanne Kaiser Lammers, is so Old World that she recently said: "I do not have a computer. I much prefer having a butler."
Setting aside the fact that I'm not even sure what that means — I always thought "Old World," when used as a descriptor, was meant specifically to refer to hunched over Greek grandparents that yell in their native tongues and occasionally cast poxes at you with a flourish of their hand and a sign of the cross — it's not even the most insane part of the story.
Lammers, who is described as "a Size 2 beauty who loves fashion magazines" (why they capitalize the word "size" is anyone's guess; then again, if I were a 2 I'd probably go whole hog and write it all-caps and bold) spent her whole life in pursuit of perfection, both her own and in others. So when Eric Hoyle cancelled on a dinner party just two hours ahead, she knew she disliked him, because "bad etiquette is worse than bad breath."
I wish that was that, because then I wouldn't have had to read this:
So they started dating slowly, often taking long walks and discussing 18th-century Chinese porcelain (she collects it), sailing (he loves it), Philadelphia architecture and hunting (both love it). Though Ms. Lammers, a Size 2 beauty who loves fashion magazines, does not exactly seem like a typical hunter, at the end of the summer, Mr. Doyle invited her to spend the weekend shooting clay pigeons at his family's farm in Maryland. "Alexandra actually came with her own gun," said Mr. Hoyle, until recently the head of business development at Elk River Trading, a hedge fund in Edgewater, N.J.
Karmically, everything goes wrong with respect to the wedding. And by "everything" I mean that at "one of their first engagement parties" it rains all over the "lovely antique clothes and flowers and candles" set out by her mother (or more likely her butler); a "tea for the couple" is cancelled due to snow, and then Lammers snaps her Achilles while working with a trainer (she must want to become a Size 0) and has to walk down the aisle with a "peg-leg contraption."
It's all good, though: the article notes that "her stride was nearly flawless and there was no thumping sound, like peg-legged pirates in the movies." No, the only thumping sound right now is my brain, against my skull. Let's just say I don't recommend reading the Vows column and this insane magnum opus on Real Royalty in one sitting.
Two other happy couples this weekend have tangential relations to some of the most important families in the world. Groom Patrick Flynn (and his father!) "both work for investment arms of the Brenninkmeijer family, of the Netherlands," a clan that is worth an estimated 19 beeellion euros.
Until December, Mr. Dizard, 29, was an event planner at Brinkley's restaurant and Southside nightclub, both in New York.
Ah yes, Brinkley's, the atrocious restaurant formerly known as Bar Martignetti, and Southside, the insufferable hellhole that once went by Bella's. The only redeeming part of that sentence is the "until December."
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In lieu of the usual "elsewhere," below please find a collection of some of my favorite sentences from various announcements this weekend that, when cobbled together, form their own little wedding story with a slam poetry feel:
"Persephone Constance Harrington and Stephen Corcoran Schneider were married Saturday at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York."
"Former Mayor David N. Dinkins of New York officiated at Battery Gardens, a restaurant."
"The bride, 30, and the bridegroom, 31, work at The New York TImes, she as a Web producer and he as an assistant to the public editor...the bride [pictured] is a descendant of Edward Doty, a passenger on the Mayflower and a signer of the Mayflower Compact."
"His father owns Remarkable Buttons, Rhinestones and Trims in New York."
"Her stepmother is an author who writes in German."
"I turned to my friend and said, 'There's something about that bald guy,'" Ms. Piskuloska recalled."
"A few days later, Ms. Waterman invited Mr. Kallaur to see the Beastie Boys at McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn, where they held hands."
It's really quite lovely.
This week's face-off:
• The bride graduated from Stanford and the groom from Yale: +5
• The bride graduated cum laude from Harvard Law: +5
• The groom is a vice president at Goldman Sachs in New York: +1
• The bride is a lawyer at Davis Polk: +1
• His mother "teaches English and is also the English department chairwoman at the Holton-Arms School, a private school for girls in Bethesda": +1
• His father is "the executive director and the general council [sic?] of the Environmental Technology Council in Washington": +1
• Her father is also a general counsell, at Viacom: +1
• "Sheldon A. Novek, a Hebrew tutor, took part in the ceremony": +1
• The bride's mother wrote a book called "A Jealous God: Science's Crusade Against Religion": +1
• The couple is so Catholic that two priests were needed to properly officiate: +1
• The bride went to Dartmouth and the groom to Georgetown: +4
• "In May, he is to begin an executive MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania": +4
• The bride is an associate at BlackRock and the groom an associate at JP Morgan: +3
• The bride's father "is a trustee of both the University of Richmond and Fairfield University, and on the board of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum in Newport, RI. Her mother is on the board of Old Westbury Gardens, a former Phipps family estate in Old Westbury, NY": +3
• The wedding was in Hobe Sound, FL: +1
• Bonus point for looking like they were generated by some sort of perfect engagement photo algorithm (is that a Barbour jacket?): +1