Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weddings get surprising coverage in the Big Apple


From page A10 | June 30, 2013 |

* Editor’s note: Marion is on vacation. This column first ran in slightly different form in 2004.

One of the few pleasures of spending time in New York City caring for my disabled father and seriously ill stepmother is reading the New York Times.

Yes, I know I could get the New York Times delivered in Davis, but it’s just not the same as holding the newspaper in your hands in its home town.

Early one Sunday, bored and the only one awake in my father’s apartment, I delved for the first time into the wedding page.

I discovered fascinating tidbits of information. Soon I was trying to read between the lines.

Take, for example, Pamela Paul, 33, and Michael Stern, 33, whose announcement drew my attention because, unlike the others, the photograph showed only the bride. The camera-shy groom is a financial analyst, his bride an “author.”

The announcement elaborates.

“Ms. Paul said she was reluctant to tell Mr. Stern she had written a book about failed marriages when they met on a blind date last year. Not only would she not tell him what the book was about, but she would also not give him her last name, her telephone number or her email address.”

The groom, who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, was not deterred by this lack of data.

“I went to Amazon and looked at the top 10 books published by people named Pamela,” he said, but none seemed to match the woman he had just met. I guess his Harvard education prevented him from looking lower on the list, where he would have found “The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony,” a book that got some media play because of the term “starter marriage.”

The wedding announcement concludes with Mr. Stern’s statement that he finds Ms. Paul “fascinating.” The Times does not offer an adjective to describe her feelings for him.

(Addendum 2013: I googled the couple before reprinting this column. Ms. Paul is no slacker. She has new books about pornography and parenting. This year she was selected as editor of the New York Times Book Review.)

Looking beyond this couple, I noticed other arresting details.

The edition I perused (Aug. 15) covered 30 marriages. Seventeen involved at least one partner who graduated from an Ivy League college. Nine of these marriages included one or more graduates of Harvard. Eighteen people reported that they graduated cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude.

Thirteen couples will have to struggle along without an Ivy League graduate, but several have at least one partner from places like Stanford, Carnegie Mellon or MIT.

Not a UC Davis alum in the bunch.


How do they pick people for this page anyway? I took a moment to investigate on the New York Times website and learned that you need to apply. Since 2002 gay couples are welcome, too. Is the competition vicious? The Web page demurs, saying only that “space is limited.”

Why is the Davis Enterprise so lax? To think that the only qualification for being on the wedding page in this town is getting married.

A typical couple in the New York Times were Moriah Campbell-Holt, a 26-year-old banker and Christopher Musto, a 33-year-old company vice president who graduated cum laude from Yale, where his father teaches child psychiatry.

According to the detailed account of how they met, Mr. Musto at first refused to date Ms. Campbell-Holt because she worked for him.

This must have caused some frustration to the young woman, a graduate of Wellesley College. The newspaper reports that she campaigned to overcome his scruples after her mother remarked that there were “centuries and centuries of examples of love prevailing over good judgment.”

Another couple who like risk are a dark-haired man, Stephen Carter, and a blond woman, Kathryn Simons, who met in a warming hut at 17,000 feet in Nepal. She found him charming while he saw, according to her family, “a dirty fur ball.”

Ms. Simons was afraid they wouldn’t click when they met again, filthless in Seattle, but love prevailed.


I never expected the stodgy old New York Times to be telling love stories, although I note that love stories between people with top tier educations are definitely preferred.

(The dirty fur ball graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and got her master’s degree from Harvard.)

I read all 30 announcements, thought about them, and read some again. On rereading, I noticed that the Times, a stickler for detail, notes whether or not the groom is “the son” of Mr. and Ms. Big Shot or “a son” of Mr. and Ms. Big Shot, which definitely sounds a step lower, because he has siblings.

The Times solemnly informs us, in certain cases, that the groom or bride’s previous marriage ended in divorce.

Towards noon I realized that I had devoted the better part of my morning to a close analysis of the wedding page — the most optimistic part of any newspaper — right down to the “a’s” and the “the’s.”

This is what I found to do on a Sunday morning, sitting in a New York apartment, watching the old folks breathe.

— Marion Franck lives in Davis with her family. Reach her at





Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Winter produce available at Sutter market

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Share your love (story) with us

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Donations to be distributed during homeless count

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Speaker will share computer security tips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Davis, Woodland are saving water

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

Words and Music Festival events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12



Caring for the aging mouth

By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

Family isn’t keen on relationship

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

We have the right to choose

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

We don’t have to suffer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

City helped immensely

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11



Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD men take two tennis matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8







Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9





Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8