Vows and a Vacation

Tags: Vacation, Yuki has a posse, acme of the Bobos, explaining the joke, the luckiest guy in the world.

Contain your grief: Old is the New New is going on vacation for July and August. Keep checking in, though (or subscribe to my RSS feed), as I have plans for a change of pace here next month. In fact, there may end up being much more content on the page than you’re used to, but it will be something different, something much more summer vacation-y than our standard edifying fare. If I have anything more historical to post in the rest of the summer (hey, it could happen!), I’ll post it at Cliopatria, which never goes on no vacation nohow. The Old is the New New that dozens of you know and love will be back in September, dropping history like Galileo dropped the orange.

Today is L & my fourth wedding anniversary–that’s the “diaper and formula anniversary,” right? More romantic celebrations have been postponed until next week, when we’ll be in Maryland with a posse of willing babysitters, but each year on this date I try to post a bit of wedding-related ephemera to melt the cold, black hearts of my readers. Voila, the New York Times “Vows” column (link opens a PDF) we used as a save-the-date.

I hate explaining the joke, since it sounds like I’m just advertising my cleverness, but a lot of people were confused, so: No, the column is not real. You’d think the WKRP and Good Will Hunting references, the description of L as an international art thief, and the claim that I was raised by wolves might have given that away, but a surprising number of people were taken in. It goes to show, if you get the fonts and layout right, people question nothing.

For those secure enough in their self-worth not to know already, the NYT wedding announcements, aka the Sports section for aspiring brides, are a total scene–a pseudo-aristocracy of wealth, good smiles, and extremely conspicuous consumption. They’re like wedding porn. And the money shot, to prolong a less than romantic metaphor, is the “Vows” column, which highlights the single most romantic / delightful / nauseating / instructive-for-the-peons wedding of each week. The super black belt ninja consumers featured therein are the acme of David Brook’s bourgeois bohemians, and proof positive that we’re still living in the Gilded Age. And L & I, like every other yupster couple in our media-addled demographic, both despised them and longed to walk among them. (For an extended demonstration of this love-hate dynamic see Veiled Conceits, a blog dedicated to savaging the NYT wedding pages.) So, back when we were getting married, we had our gluten-free artisanal wedding cake and ate it too by constructing our own parodic “Vows” column and distributing it to our guests with the save the date cards. (The original didn’t include actual pictures of our wedding, which hadn’t yet happened at the time we mailed it out. We used pictures from Princess Mononoke instead–you can see them here. Weirdly, that didn’t tip anyone off either. Forget what Goebbels said, the big lie is all about the fonts.)

OK, maybe I am just advertising my own cleverness, or our cleverness really, but just read the PDF, will ya? Obviously, anyone eager to be my partner in such glorious pseudo-ironic sublimation of desire is a keeper. Plus she’s awful cute.

I love you, baby. Everything has changed this year, but nothing has. I’m still the luckiest guy in the world.