Four weddings and a divorce?
I would feel un-American if I didn’t wish everyone a Happy July 4. I don’t really know what this day means anymore; this country has veered so far off the Founding Fathers’ path. In a perfect world, I would mandate that Congress work today, creating jobs and regulating Big Banks, rather than taking the day off, only to return after their 4,000th recess this year, where the useless agenda will include repealing Obamacare and taking away low-cost healthcare and birth control for women, among other stupid things. (Jeez, that was a long sentence.)
Okay, so Happy 4th. And now on to my totally non-Independence Day-related post, as I take a nose-dive off my soapbox.
My sister called me two Sundays ago. I didn’t answer. I texted her and told her I would call her Monday. I just wasn’t in a chatty mood and was feeling a bit funky.
She texted me back: “You’re reading the NY Times wedding announcements, aren’t you? Put that shit down. Better yet, set it on fire. It just makes you feel like crap.”
Busted. (But it was not why I felt like not talking. The culprit was a migraine coupled with obsessing about my looming unemployment.)
Yes, I am addicted to the wedding section of the Times. The obsession began about 10 years ago, when I started subscribing to the paper. I waited for that blue-plastic bag to hit my driveway each Sunday, after which I would greedily devour each and every wedding announcement. Shame spiral commencing now…
What attracts me to it? I’m not a person who has dreamed of a princess wedding since I was in the 8th grade, nor is marriage a goal in my life. Finding a companion is, I know that for sure. But marriage may never be in the cards for me, and I am okay with that. Plus, I don’t want to have children, which is sometimes (but not all the time) a good reason for matrimony. I came from a tidy little nuclear family, and look how well I turned out, hahaha.
Anyway, the reason for my unabashed attraction to the wedding announcements is that I feel like I’m reading fiction and creating fiction at the same time. These little parcels, little nuggets of life, fascinate me. I love reading them and then filling in the holes.
First off, it is fiction because the Crest-White-Strips smiles, glowing complexions and Ivy League pedigrees don’t seem real to me. For the most part, these couples have multiple degrees from top universities (mostly Harvard, Brown, Yale and Princeton) and have uber-important sounding jobs. For example:
Mrs. X, 28, will be taking her husband’s name. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton, where the couple met, and has a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard. She is currently working on the cure for cancer. Her IQ is 170.
Mr. X, 33, has an MBA from Wharton School of Business and a law degree from Harvard. He currently works as Vice President of Asset Management Schematics & Technology & Wealth Management Logistics at XX Bank.
What the fuck is Vice President of Asset Management Schematics & Technology & Wealth Management Logistics? If these two procreate, they are either going to have an idiot savant or a cat-killer-who-eventually-graduates-to-chopping-up-women-and-stuffing-them-into-plastic-baggies sociopath. People this smart just should not join their sperm and eggs.
Also, I love the trust-fund Rockefeller brides and grooms. The brides always have Art History degrees. And their husbands are on their 80th advanced degree and are unemployed. For instance:
Mrs. Y, 25, graduated from Vassar and has a degree in Art History. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Interior Design at Parsons, where her father is on the board of directors.
Mr. Y, who was employed at Barnbits – an animal husbandry think tank in Washington D.C. – until January of this year, will start his graduate studies in fund-raising from Columbia this fall. He also holds a dual PhD in archeology and sociology from Stanford, and a law degree from NYU.
See what I mean? The average state school graduates or even the smaller, less-prestigious liberal arts college attendees, with normal, unsexy jobs as CPAs and nurses, don’t belong on these pages. Yes, I think for the sake of diversity they occasionally throw in a few teachers and public defenders who graduated from the University of Iowa. Those aside, though, I would say that the majority of the announcements are for these fictionalized, gorgeous, brilliant creatures. I would be lying if I said this didn’t, at one time, make me feel bad. When I started reading this in my late 20s, it did make me feel like shit. Like I would never measure up professionally or socially or meet my perfect Ken-doll Harvard grad with perfectly straight teeth and no receding hairline.
Now, however, I read these and laugh. It bends my brain in a good way. Which leads me to the second reason for my obsessive reading of the Times wedding announcements: it allows me to create fiction, too.
Let’s take Alexandra and Riley, 25 and 26 years old respectively, whose wedding was featured two weeks ago. They both went to the same Ivy, where they met. Alexandra’s father is the CEO of a large company and she’s studying for her master’s degree in early childhood education. Riley works at an investment firm. His father is in real estate.
Pretty unremarkable, perhaps. But it’s the picture of this generically attractive couple that creates the fiction in my mind. He looks like a jackass frat boy, who would be better suited wearing a jaunty sailor’s cap and pink polo as heads out on his father’s yacht. He has a gleam in his eye that says “Are you at least 18? Then let’s play beer pong, you cute sorority girl.” And she… well she looks like the ball and chain will be ready for use 5 seconds after he says “I do.” She has a look in her crazy eyes that screams “Back the hell off, ladies. He’s mine and I’m young and hot and I’m getting my master’s degree.”
These two are doomed. I give them five years, max. Enough time for her to squeeze out a cute little kid who will be named Madison or Hailey or Agnes (I hear that name is going to be the next big one).
For exhibit B, let’s visit with Blythe and Jack. Not as attractive as Alexander and Riley, but still cute. The draw here is their education and professions. Ivy, ivy, ivy, blah, blah, blah where they met, they are in their 20s, blah blah blah. She is working on her doctoral in clinical psychology and he is working on his master’s in marriage and family therapy.
Doomed as well, however I give these two at least 10 years. What’s the saying, those who can’t do, teach? My ex-boyfriend’s mother and stepfather (and now ex-husband of mom) had similar degrees, and my ex-boyfriend’s childhood was hell. I met both these parents, and in my humble opinion, neither were well-equipped to sustain any lasting relationship, she passive-aggressive, he with serious anger-management issues: it was like pouring gasoline onto a brush fire.
So there you go. My shameful secret is out, worse than me admitting to reading the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, but less shameful than admitting that I sometimes sit on my couch in my underwear, eating ice cream straight from the container.