Monday, April 11, 2005

Virtual Reality

Someone left the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times on the kitchen counter, and if your English isn't too good and you find the Times kind of intimidating, I suggest that Sunday Styles is the section to start with. It's like eighty percent pictures of old people in formalwear and ten percent pictures of young people in formalwear. Five percent ads for crap you can't afford.

Thing is, I can't figure out who in the hell is the audience for this. Like, on the back page, there's blurbs about selected couples who got married in the past week. They read like this:

Nicole Brill Jacobs, a daughter of Carole Jacobs and Dr. Anthony Jacobs of Birmingham, England, is to be married today to Brett Harris Wigdortz, a son of Judith Wigdortz and Lawrence Wigdortz of West Long Branch, N.J. Rabbi David Booth is to officiate at the Ocean Place Spa and Resort in Long Branch, N.J.
So I guess Carole and Dr. Anthony Jacobs will be reading this week's Sunday Styles section, not to mention Judith and Lawrence Wigdortz. The Times even included a picture of Nicole and Brett, wincing in love, just in case the in-laws forget what their kids look like on what I hope, judging from the picture, is not one of their better days.

Okay, the wedding "news" continues:
The bride, 32, is a reflexologist in private practice in London. She graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in England and received a certificate in complementary health from the Central London School of Reflexology. Her father retired as a doctor of clinical chemistry at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, England.
Here's the thing. There are only two possible reasons to care about the bride's profession. Either (a) you know the bride or groom, in which case you're probably already aware of Nicole's exciting career in the fast-paced world of chiropody, or (b) you are an asshole using this poor couple's press release as in example in your blog. Don't blame me; I didn't put this in the newspaper.

Finally, a paragraph on the, well, you'll see...
The bridegroom, 31, is the founder and chief executive of Teach First, a British adaptation of the nonprofit organization Teach for America. He graduated from the University of Richmond and received a master's degree in economics from the University of Hawaii. His mother is an adjunct professor of English at Monmouth University in New Jersey. His father is a senior advertising executive at the Asbury Park Press in Neptune, N.J.
The bridegroom? Huh? Who says "bridegroom?"

Are they planning on hanging the honeymoon sheets out the window for everyone to see too?

No, that's not fair. It's not Nicole and Brett's fault that the NYT is particularly affected. A picture of a shack on the front page with the announcement "Trailer park homes like this one are going for millions." And "Evening Hours," their own classed-up version of Page Six, with photos of socialites together at ritzy parties you weren't invited to. Look, there's Ellsworth Kelly standing next to To Tell The Truth panelist Kitty Carlisle Hart. There's Georgette Mosbacher and a countenance of ennui that can only come from having to pose with Nancy Collins and Michael Tilson Thomas at Cipriani 42nd Street. The whole page is like a joke in The New Yorker that you're too poor white trash to get. Go to some shitty bar with mouth-burning vodka that Kristin Chenoweth wouldn't be caught dead at, loser.

It this weird vicarious Cinderella fantasy that it appeals to. It's one thing to check out the photos of a party you were at, remember how much fun it was when some guy there in a black top hat and hot pink cummerbund started humping the melting ice sculpture. (Not that that ever happened at any parties I was at. No, seriously.) It's another thing for someone to tell you about the ice humper, and it's still another rubbing-it-in thing to tell you about how this lunatic was humping the ice sculpture at the same time that you were at home cleaning up after the wicked stepsisters. Which is what baffles me.

Maybe the readers think there'll be a invitation lottery inside.