Weddings & Celebrations

September 27th, 2007

“Hey, this is Reggie,” a man with a thick Brooklyn accent says on my voicemail. “I’m callin’ from The New York Times. I wanna get your voice into the narrative that I’m writing for your, yunno, announcement.”

Inconsistent as it might sound, I’ve been an avid and enthusiastic reader of The New York Times Weddings & Celebrations section since picking up the paper my first weekend in town. I’ve read it consistently ever since. I’ve even watched some of those Vows Videos they’ve been doing lately.

My amateur psychological diagnosis is that reading a dozen or so wedding announcements a week has provided me with evidence that, despite what I might have witnessed first-hand, marriage works. Or even if it doesn’t, people keep tryin’. I like to think The Times played a roll and lending some confidence to the institution.

So as our wedding approached — as un-rock ‘n roll as it might seem — Abbi and I wanted in. Better yet, so did our friends, uber-couple Ron Lieber (WSJ) and Jodi Kantor (NYT) who emailed us to say, “You should be in Vows!”

So Reggie and I just got off the phone. He’d already spoken with Abbi, so I was just confirming facts and elaborating on story points. Like that we met at Rockwood Music Hall, and that I sing and play guitar, and that I was in a relationship when Abbi and I met — WHAT!?! No, no, no, no, I told him, I was as single as I’d ever been in my whole LIFE when Abbi and I met! I was doing one of those “time off” things.

“So how long had you been single?” he asked. “And how long was your previous relationship?”

And I was all like, “No, no, no. It’s wasn’t like that. There wasn’t some long-term, heavy-duty break-up. More like a series of mishaps. So I was just trying to figure my shit out. Which is when she tapped me on the shoulder.”

Much as I worried that our borderline-sacharine story (not to mention my enthusiastic re-telling of it) would make him puke, Vinnie was great. He told me that he speaks to about a dozen couples a week.

“Usually people are sweet, and you listen to their story and ask yourself, ‘Where do I start,” he explained. “Other times, though, people are uptight and nervous. Getting ’em to talk is like pulling teeth.”

I asked him if he was a fan of the section, and whether he’s a romantic, or if it just an assignment.

“If you Google me you’ll see my stuff’s all over the paper,” he said. “I write for Metro and I do a sports column on Sundays. But I get to meet some cool people writing these. And sometimes I think, ‘Where were all these women when I was gettin’ married?’