One of my favorite romantic comedies is “27 Dresses.” One of the salient points of the movie is that Jane (Katherine Heigl) reads the “Style” section of Sunday edition “The New York Journal,” which is a thinly disguised “New York Times.”
I love the Sunday Styles section. It’s the first section I turn to (perhaps this is why I’ve excelled at social skills and fashion, and not in career endeavors). I can’t wait to read the wedding announcements. I especially love how everyone’s parents are ambassadors to a small island nation that I’ve never heard of, or they have found a cure for a rare disease, all, of course, in addition to being CEO’s of companies. The bride and groom usually have several degrees and at some point have studied at Oxford or some other foreign school of note. After traveling around the world serving humanitarian causes of some sort, they some how settle down in some chic city (New York, San Francisco, Palm Beach) to a high level position at an international conglomerate handling global communications. In addition, they just launched their own charity and are going to be a guest on Oprah next week. Well, thank God I don’t have to compete with that.
Here’s what my wedding announcement would have looked like (The New York Times Version):
Ellen Beth Poriles, the daughter of Meyer and Thelma Poriles of Philadelphia, PA, will be married on Saturday to Kurt Wilhelm Weiler, the son of Dr. Royal Weiler and Marjorie Weiler of Philadelphia, PA and Albrightsville, PA. The Reverand Everett Arnold will perform a non-denominational ceremony at The Towpath House Restaurant in New Hope, PA.
Ellen obtained her B.A. in Art History from Lafayette College in Easton, PA. She is currently employed as a free-lance legal assistant in Philadelphia. Her father, Meyer, is the president and CEO of Poriles Textiles in Philadelphia. Her mother works as an assistant in the company. Kurt obtained his A.B. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently employed as an automotive restoration specialist for Evans Service Company in Oreland, PA. His father, Dr. Royal Weiler, is a retired professor of Hindi and Sanskrit studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. His great-grandfather was the founder of The Morning Call, a newspaper covering the Lehigh Valley. His mother, Marjorie Weiler, is a scientific editor at The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
Now here’s the real version:
Ellen Beth Poriles, who was pulling her hair out living with Meyer and Thelma, has finally decided to break free and make a run for it. She’s marrying Kurt Wilhelm Weiler, an auto mechanic, who just happens to have an Ivy League degree. Ellen’s old man, Meyer, buys and sells unfinished greige goods in New York and has them finished at textile mills in the South. He used to candle eggs and sell butter with his father in West Philly, but then the business was burnt down and he had to find something else to do. He schlepps to New York at least once a week to meet with other textile brokers. He has a hearty lunch of Scotch broth soup and apple pie with cheddar cheese at the soup bar at Lord & Taylor. Her mother, who does not drive, talks a daily walk to the local shopping center and has a small pizza at New England Pizza, the local pizza joint. Kurt’s dad is now retired. He reads obscure texts all day and drinks very dry gin martinis and smokes cigarettes. His mom does work at Wharton, but spends most of her time cooking and planning her next meal. Ellen can’t find a decent job, so she is temping while looking for someplace to work. Kurt is totally brilliant but enjoys the no-stress environment of working on British racing cars, usually restoring about one a year. Together they should be able to afford many delicious meals at Wendy’s or some other high-end establishment. They will be honeymooning in ten years, when they scrape up enough money to actually board a plane and go somewhere.
And there you have it. The glammed-up version and the real deal. The thing of it is, the real deal ain’t so bad. Living it is better than dreaming about it.