Monday, April 30, 2012

Who Wooed Who?

" Jennifer Wu and Andy Woo Are Wed..."

There is, in the Styles section of the Sunday New York Times every week, an essay whose subject is: The courtship and marriage of two young and upcoming professionals. It's pretty obvious what the deal is with these profiles. Some people hire a wedding planner and a photographer and a caterer. Others add " Freelance writer " to that roster. Yes, my guess is that these egregious pieces are not written by Aunt Wanda, Uncle Harry, or one of the first cousins whose goal is to major in American Lit at Cornell.

But the essay in this week's Times is a classic. It has an Abbott and Costello ring to it...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I now know two couples who have been profiled in that special weddings section. Apparently, the fact checking is quite extensive--fine tooth comb, to be sure no one is making stuff up about themselves or their courtship or who their parents are...
In each case, after the basic wedding announcement was sent in, the NYT contacted these people to see if they would agree to have someone from the NYT interview family, friends and the happy couple, as well as attend the wedding and reception. There was no guarantee that theirs would actually be selected for the special, highlighted segment in the Styles section.
jc
jc

Terrence said...

I think, given the dire straits journalism is in, that a Times reporter's time could be less ill spent.

That's a lot of ink, and way too many column inches on news I couldn't care less about.

Anonymous said...

I know--I think so too. But at some level, these stories are a snippet of life, much like your commentaries. And the profiles are of people from varied walks of life and cultures.
And occasionally there is a follow up piece, say 10 years later. Sociology 101? A peek into the lives and customs of others?
Like that wedding we witnessed that day on the beach in NC...weren't you at all curious about who the assembled guests and honored couple were?
And how they and their marriage may have fared?
Maybe I'm just nosy.
jc

Terrence said...

I may be wrong on this, jc, but my perception of people who get their wedding announcements into the venerable New York Times are 1 percenters. Slice of life's pie, sure. But a BIG slice. The folks we saw getting married on the beach that day? The groom was probably an auto mechanic and his bride probably is working two jobs, one of them a cashier at Wal-Mart. THEIR story is probably a lot more interesting, and relevant, than the Wu Woos.

Anonymous said...

No. II think you have some of the NYT stuff wrong. If you read each week, the profiled weddings are of very diverse circumstances and walks of life.
I was thinking this morning how cool your wedding story would have been in print...leaving out the part about dancing and drinking and carrying on until dawn after the reception, of course...The hook for them would have been young ambitious journalist from Webtown marrying accomplished middle school teacher, meeting for the first time at the Broadview (photo of MtTom in the background...)...
jc