Getting hitched... and announcing it obnoxiously in the NYT
BY JULIA ALLISON
Special to amNewYork
May 15, 2006
There are two types of women in this city: those who adore The New York Times weddings announcements and hope they'll be featured, and those who think such announcements are insufferable, archaic and pretentious … and hope they'll be featured.
I'm the latter.
Either way, come Sunday morning, we all stare bleary-eyed at the back of the Style section, fixated for an embarrassing length of time on what David Brooks once called "The Mergers and Acquisitions page."
But aimless scanning is for amateurs – pros (such as myself) conduct a truly comprehensive analysis, meticulously filtering the announcements for socioeconomic research and recreational mockery. After all, until the Times starts printing divorce notices, there's nothing more captivating than the compressed 20-line resumes of our city's newest pseudo-aristocratic couples.
As a public service, I'm providing the following checklist in hopes that your next Weddings read is infinitely more satisfying.
To set proper mood, obtain coffee saturated with Splenda, kick boyfriend out of room, turn cell phone to silent. Curl up on couch, locate Style section, unfold to last page. Curse newsprint for turning your new manicure black. Do not get distracted by large color picture in "Vows" section! You have serious work to do. Start at first announcement and …
1) Scrutinize photo.
a. Weigh couples' respective attractiveness. Note if she's hot and he's not. Wonder how he landed her. Check profession to confirm suspicions (yep, "generational wealth").
b. If only bride photo is provided, assume groom is ugly. Chortle impolitely.
c. Ignore mentions with no photo. Boring!
2) Check ages.
a. Note large numerical differences. Raise eyebrows. Cluck like a yenta.
b. Coo at geezers. Adorable! Visualize them consummating marriage. Less adorable!
c. Embrace "Preemptive Schadenfreude." Remember that most irritatingly thin 24-year-olds marrying i-bankers will be hawking their 3-carat engagement ring to pay for a divorce lawyer in less than seven years – tops.
3) Inspect educational background.
a. Did they meet at Yale? Barf. Hope their kids get rejected.
b. Feel mildly satisfied to read that city college guy tied knot with Columbia University girl.
c. Note proliferation of law degrees. Become concerned that law degree is prerequisite for New York marriage. Make mental note to sign up for LSAT.
d. Observe how many married college sweethearts. Think about own college sweetheart. Be very glad you didn't marry him.
4) Analyze occupations.
a. Note mentions that say "bride was at BLANK job until last month." Read as "bride gleefully quit crap job after finally landing banker/lawyer/exec with bonus large enough to support her dreams of one day owning Bugaboo Frog stroller."
b. Visit Bugaboo Frog website. Pick out color and model.
c. Think also that, to be fair, "Coordinated enormous, exorbitant, exhausting wedding while fending off neurotic future mother-in-law" should really go on one's resume. In bold.
5) Think listing parental professions bizarrely anachronistic.
a. Almost expect to read: "bride and groom are of good stock."
b. Look at top of page to check year; reassure yourself it's not 1955.
c. Actually read recently: "bridegroom is descendent of Hendrick Hendricksen Kip, who settled in the 17th century in New York in the area now known as Kips Bay." Think to self, "seriously? They REALLY put that in their wedding announcement??" Wonder if groom went around bragging about that when he was younger. Hope groom got beat up.
6) Seek out mentions of divorce.
a. Shake head judgmentally at announcements explicitly stating demise of bride or groom's first marriage. Psychoanalyze. Did he drink? Did she cheat? Is he gay? Refer to old "Days of Our Lives" plots for inspiration.
b. Read that "groom's four previous marriages ended in divorce." Wonder if bride has therapist. Wonder if bride IS therapist. Hope guests kept receipts.
7) Fantasize about own announcement.
a. Decide to have glamour shot taken, change alma mater to Ivy League, subtract four years from age and add law degree from Princeton. Remember Princeton doesn't have law school. Oops.
b. Think to self that self needs to get a life.
c. Vow to read business section from now on.
At least Julia doesn't read the obits! Email Julia@JuliaAllison.com