I think it was that venerable sage Carrie Bradshaw — and you should picture the phrase "venerable sage" dripping, physically, with irony (careful! Don't get any on your shirt!) — who said that the weddings announcements in the New York Times were "the straight woman's sports pages." Truth be told, my own sports pages are actually the restaurant reviews, but you know what they say, to each his own and all that.
Here's the thing, though: do you know how many douchebags there are in the New York Times wedding announcements, at least the announcements you can see online? Answer: a whole lot. There are enough douchebags in the online New York Times wedding announcements, in fact, that you could line them all up and place them head to toe, and you'd have enough douchebags to cover a football field — a Yale football field that is.
Because there's nothing like the online wedding announcements to make you feel bad about yourself: your non-Ivy-league education, the fact that you weren't raised in a leafy New England town, the distinct lack of the words "investment banker" anywhere on your resume. The online wedding announcements aren't so much the sports pages as they are the obituaries. That's how depressing they are.
They also, however, might as well be the funny pages. Because, seriously? Degrees from both Brown and Harvard, summers in the Hamptons, boat rides down the Thames, and a father in the Bermuda parliament? That's just too much good fortune for one person — even if fate has made up for it just a little by giving you a weak chin.
There's so much good fortune in the New York Times wedding announcements, in fact, that online gossip rag Gawker.com has started a feature called "Altarcations," in which they evaluate the latest newlyweds based on an elaborate rating system. And if reading about these toffee-nosed children of privilege on a dull Thursday afternoon isn't the best way of procrastinating at work, I don't know what is.
Consider Ambrose Car III, married March 11, who receives two points for having a "III" in his name. He gains another point for being a financial planner, and another for wearing a gingham shirt in the wedding picture. Wife-to-be Elizabeth gains a point because her parents are from snooty Greenwich, Conn., and another two points for having a certificate in decorative and fine arts from Sotheby's. Sadly, however, Ambrose loses a point for being 41, giving the couple a total of six points, and meaning that they lose out to Jesse Kurnit and Hannah Swacker (eight points), who get a lot of mileage from the fact that Hannah works at fancy New York private school St. Ann's (which she also attended).
See? Fun, isn't it? You could even play along at home with the online Charleston wedding announcements, if you like. Just remember a few of the rules: five points are given if both parties are investment bankers, high-powered lawyers, or traders. Two points are given if Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, or the Sorbonne are mentioned, and if either party attended a school with "Country Day" in its name. For each subsequent degree after a B.A., another point is added on; ditto if either the bride or groom goes by their middle name. If someone famous comes to the wedding, that's another two points, and there's another point to be had if the bride clearly quits her job after getting married.
There you go, hours of online entertainment — and it even comes with a side of crushing self-loathing and a creeping disappointment at one's own sub-par life choices. No really, you're so welcome. Don't mention it at all.
Holly Burns is online at www.nothingbutbonfires.com. She would never marry a man who wore gingham.