Harvard! Harvard Harvard Harvard. Havard? Such is the nature of today's New York Times weddings section. With so many couples of equal accomplishment, how do we judge them? Gawker wedding expert Phyllis Nefler finds a way, as she always does.
"She graduated summa cum laude from Harvard and received a master's in public affairs from Princeton. Until 1986, her father was the assistant general counsel of Harvard. He also graduated from Harvard, from which he received a law degree.
The couple, both 27, met at Harvard, from which each graduated; the bridegroom is completing an MBA there. The bride, 27, graduated from Princeton University and is to receive a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard in November. He graduated cum laude from Harvard. She is completing studies for a medical degree at Harvard. He graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and received an MBA from Harvard. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, where she is completing a medical degree. The bridegroom graduated, magna cum laude, from Duke, and received a law degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard."
Harvard! HARVARD! Nearly 40% of the announcements this weekend contained the magic word, the crimson ticket. Brides and grooms went there, go there, worked there, grew up there, met there, returned there, "from which"'d there, received there, earned there, and graduated there. And some? Some even wed there.
Meanwhile, while this woman is from a town called Harvard, she's clearly not of it:
Ms. Epstein, 27, is pursuing a master's degree in library sciences at Simmons College in Boston, and works part-time at a Starbucks in Cambridge. She graduated from Yale.
Ha, fuckin Yaliens.
Epstein's name will be taken by both women — i was hoping for the more Jodi Rudoren esque "Smithstein" mashup — and in other naming news, in this wedding "the bridegroom is taking the bride's name." And what names they are — Anna Toivola da Camara Leme and Jorge Perestrelo Lobo de Mesquita. Because they're Portuguese Portuguesians from Portugal:
Maria Amelia Paiva, the Portuguese consul general, officiated, under Portuguese domestic marital statutes, at the Portuguese General Consulate.
Hey, I shouldn't make fun - all the other announcements are basically like that except with the word Harvard. Speaking of naming, I wish Amy Cunningham-Bussel, who is keeping her name, had gone for the trifecta. What better way to compensate for the drab "Amy" than with a surname spanning two hyphens and eight syllables?
Then there's the people who didn't go to Harvard, but sound like they did. The announcement for Danielle Rosengarten and Kenneth Vogel, a Joe Lieberman staffer and a Politico writer, speaks of how the couple "discovered a shared love of Ethiopian food and kosher pastrami" — and arcane political issues:
"He honestly struck me as the most attractive person I had ever met in my entire life," Ms. Rosengarten said. "He has shockingly blue eyes and the most adorable dimples I have ever seen. He loves campaign finance reform, that was all I needed to know. We knew instantly that we were intellectually attracted to each other."
Ah, the heady musk of having an opinion on the Constitutional legality of McCain-Feingold. An opinion best shared over a dripping mouthful of injera.
Vogel explained that his bride's passions extended from campaign finance to "finding the perfect six-foot sub for a Super Bowl party." Being a good Super Bowl guest is this week's Subliminal Message for Single Woman; it's also how Karen Glassman and Lawrence Brown first connected. Take it away, Super Bowl party in Bayside, Queens:
"Most guys don't expect a girl to be interested in sports," Ms. Glassman said. "But when Larry said hello, I said, ‘What's the over-under on the game?' " Mr. Brown was awestruck and more than a little bit taken with Ms. Glassman.
Later that evening, as Ms. Glassman and her date were getting ready to leave, Mr. Brown said to Ms. Glassman's date, "If you don't marry her, I will."
You hear that, ladies? Awestruck. So awestruck that when they were set up on a blind date a few years later, he had no recollection of meeting her.
The featured couple this week, complete with very cute online video that I enjoyed watching, is Gabrielle Rubinstein, co-founder and owner of the Joe coffee shop mini empire with her brother, and Anthony Cheong, one of her long time customers. I rolled my eyes a bit at how the article has to cutesily mention every person's order (Phyllis Nefler: iced red eye) but you know, I understand, and also this construct made up for it: "Rabbi Krause, who once used Joe to hold a monthly after-hours theological discussion called Oy Latte..."
(Rabbi Krause's drink of choice: soy latte.)
Let's end on some words of advice from Rubinstein herself, who has for years played matchmaker with many of her customers:
I believe in Love Karma," she wrote in an e-mail message, "and the more I try to create love in the world, the more likely I will be to find love myself. That's my motto."
Love karma, people. Live it. Learn it. Study it at Harvard.
This week's Faceoff was particularly labor intensive because there were three couples with so many advanced degrees from elite schools that I contemplated setting up a spreadsheet to properly keep track of their point tallies. I didn't, though, so I probably botched this anyway. Math is hard!
Honorable mention goes to Priyanka Agarwal and Aditya Koolwal, who "met at Stanford, from which they graduated and from which the bridegroom also received a master's degree in computer science and a doctorate in mechanical engineering." (The bride traded Palo Alto for Cambridge, where she "is completing studies for an MBA and a medical degree at Harvard.") Also, is anyone getting sort of a "bearded Ellen Degeneres" vibe from the groom? I think it's the eyes, and the haircut.
• The groom graduated cum laude from Yale and the bride magna cum laude from Princeton: +11
• The groom went to Yale Law and the bride to Harvard Law: +7
• The two both went to Cambridge, where she received a Master of Philosophy degree and he earned a master's in the history of political thought: +3
• The bride manages to pull off the rare but highly desirable "free spirit in pearls" look: +1
• The bride's mother is the president of the Moody's Foundation and also on the board of the Brick Presbyterian Church and the New York Downtown Hospital: +2
• The two are both associates at fancy firms: +3
• The groom's parents are both partners at fancy firms: +3
• The grooms father was the president of the Legal Aid Society and is also a Broadway-level playwright: +1
• The bride "is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at Harvard, where she is studying childhood competition and culture": +3
• The bride graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and the groom graduated summa cum laude from Harvard: +12
• The bride received a master's in philosophy from Cambridge and the groom a master's in statistics from Harvard: +4
• The bride received a PhD in sociology from Princeton and the groom a PhD in economics from Harvard: +7
• "Her mother was Miss America 1970": +2
• "His father is a professor of political economy at Harvard": +1
• "The bridegroom, 29, is an assistant professor of public policy at Harvard": +1
• "Hilary Leigh Levey and John Norton Friedman were married Saturday evening at Memorial Church on the campus of Harvard": +OKAY, WE GET IT.
TOTAL: Harvard? Harvard. HARRRRVVVAAAAAARRRRRDDDD!!!!!
["We Suck" pic via.]