Monday, July 30, 2012

The Meat Wrapper, The Sugar Bowl and When Too Much Information is Too Much

Now I'm all for gay marriage.  And I would venture to say that my readers too, are, overwhelming in favor of same-sex marriage.  Here in Ohio's it's illegal, so the Columbus Dispatch REFUSES to post announcements of same sex engagements and marriages,  because it simply isn't done.

In the old days, wedding announcements were the funniest read in the paper because they were so damned boring.  "The bride is the daughter of mmmmmm.  The bridegroom is the son of mmmmmm, and works as a mmmmmmmm for the mmmmm Company." And they went into PAINSTAKING detail of the lace, materials and types of dresses that every woman was wearing.

But times change and increasingly, wedding announcements have been all business.  We no longer know of the type of fabric that the bridegroom's step mother's mother is wearing.  They are pretty much Dragnet announcements that are all facts and none of the obtuse information that made them so much fun to read in the first place.

Until now.

In New York City, the New York Times has joined the 21st Century and started printing same sex wedding announcements.  And the old gray lady of the press has just published a wedding announcement of profound triviality and monumental minutia for two men, who I expect are dying of embarrassment because their announcement reads like it should have appeared in the latest issue of The Onion, not the Times.

From the New York Times, online (and I am promising you that I am not making this up):

"Daniel Hendrick and Jimmy Van Bramer"

"Daniel M. Hendrick and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer were married Saturday evening at Studio Square, an event space in Long Island City, Queens. Audrey I. Pheffer, the Queens County Clerk, officiated."

CREDIT: The New York Times
"Mr. Hendrick (left), 41, works in Manhattan as the communications director for the New York League of Conservation Voters, an environmental advocacy group. He graduated from Columbia University.

"He is the son of Elizabeth L. Hendrick of Fraser, Mich., and Daniel W. Hendrick, of Largo, Fla. His mother retired as a laboratory supervisor at St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital in Warren, Mich. His father retired as a fire marshal for Chrysler and worked in Detroit.

"Mr. Van Bramer, 42, is a member of the New York City Council representing the 26th District, which is composed of Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria and Maspeth in Queens. He is also the chairman of the council’s Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee. He graduated from St. John’s University.

"He is a son of Elizabeth E. Marcum of Astoria and William R. Van Bramer of Vero Beach, Fla. His mother retired as a cashier and a meat wrapper at a Pathmark supermarket in Long Island City. His father retired as a pressman for The New York Times and as an executive board member of New York Pressman’s Union, Local 2.

"Mr. Van Bramer is a stepson of the late James E. Marcum. His stepfather retired as a custodian from Intermediate School 10 in Astoria.

"Mr. Hendrick and Mr. Van Bramer met in May 1999 at a fund-raiser for a gay community center in Queens. (At the time, Mr. Van Bramer was working in government relations for the Queens Borough Public Library and Mr. Hendrick wrote news releases for the Fitch Ratings agency.)

"Mr. Van Bramer, having just arrived, went to the bar for a glass of wine when he looked up and saw Mr. Hendrick. “He was this handsome redhead with glasses,” Mr. Van Bramer recalled. “I just kind of said to myself ‘Who is that?’ ”

"Mr. Hendrick was soon chatting with the man who had invited Mr. Van Bramer to the fund-raiser, leading Mr. Van Bremer to assume that the two were dating. A short time later, the friend told Mr. Van Bramer that he was not dating Mr. Hendrick, and he had more good news: Mr. Hendrick had asked about Mr. Van Bramer (“Who is the guy in the suit?”).

"Mr. Van Bramer approached Mr. Hendrick and very soon began a mental survey of his new acquaintance.

“As we were standing there talking, I went through my checklist,” Mr. Van Bramer said. “I thought, ‘He’s good looking, he’s smart, he’s employed and he’s able to talk about politics.’ He met every one of my requirements.”

"Mr. Hendrick also had a checklist.

"“I thought he was sweet, handsome, intelligent and above all, I really loved his political activism,” Mr. Hendrick said. “He wanted to make some changes in the world.”

"That conversation led to a first date at a movie theater in Queens, and they began dating steadily, with Mr. Hendrick, who lived in Long Island City, spending time at Mr. Van Bremer’s studio in Woodside. Though Mr. Van Bremer wanted them to live together, he did not want to appear desperate.

"“Every time he would leave a shirt behind or a toothbrush, I thought that was a good sign that he was leaning toward moving in,” Mr. Van Bremer said.

"Then one day, Mr. Hendrick brought over one of his most treasured possessions, a sugar bowl that he had bought in Siberia during a college trip.

"The sugar bowl, which Mr. Hendrick put on the kitchen counter, never made it back to Long Island City, and neither did Mr. Hendrick, who moved in shortly thereafter."

So tell us, what's your favorite factoid from this announcement?


  1. Oh, hands down, the sugar bowl. But then again, I'm a dish queen from way back. Mr. Muscato first won my heart at just around the time I saw how carefully he handled my Spode...

  2. Is it wrong that I now hate them both?
    Maybe that's the point of wedding announcements in the first place, though.

    1. You hate them because of this? Oh, honey. Trust me. These guys need all the love in the world because right now a lot of people are thinking that they are totally dying of embarrassment.

      Remember, hate the sin, love the sinner.

  3. So many details, but few pertinent ones. Why is that sugar bowl so important, as sugar bowls rarely count as most-valued-possessions? Why would you bring a sugar bowl to anyone's home, dating or not? Thanks for a good laugh.

  4. I've always found toothbrushes to be very Freudian.

    The poet laureate of Dogwood Lane once said, "An ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure."

  5. See, I think this whole thing has Daddy Van Bramer's inky fingerprints all over it. I worked at a major daily for nearly a decade and know newspapers have a history of doing right by their longtime pressmen, even if they're not unionized.

    It's one of the few industrial jobs that still have traditional apprenticeships etc. I know at my newspaper retiring pressmen got free ads, announcements and lifetime subscriptions. Actually, when their own lifetime expired, the subscription would transfer over to the widow. (Fun, almost totally irrelevant fact: newspapers were also one of the first industries to actively seek out deaf employees in the 1800's).

    It wouldn't surprise me at all if this was done as a solid from an old editor to a retired pressman (our old dogs were the beloved elder statesmen of the paper)and making nice with the pressman's union, not to mention the total embarrassment, was just a bonus.

    1. I think you may be onto something. I personally would just die IF some published that my only accomplishment in life was that I had retired from the job of MEAT RAPPING. Not a butcher mind you. But a MEAT WRAPPER.

  6. while on my walk, a thought came into my vapid head.....with the homogenization of us into straight society, we're losing that thing that made us so special, that otherness.

    1. I am smelling what you are shitting. The only upside to not being welcome in straight bars years ago was that we were welcome in our gay bars. Progress has a price. You gotta give something up to get what you want.

  7. I, too, collect Siberian sugar bowls!!! *Clapping* I'm taking "mental surveys" later.

  8. Tisk, tisk...check lists? Gawd! Where's the chemistry...where's the butterflies in the bellies of the beasts? And I thought being straight was boring! I expected a little more from the Alternate Mode. ;)

    Althought, I must admit, I was entranced by the meat wrapper identifier. My daughter always talks about the dangers of labels we put on people when they become their "identifiers".

    1. For that matter, where is the cool of the sweat that beaded up upon their hot skin following their first post coitus moment? And we still don't know which is the top, the bottom or versatile.

  9. "Daniel M. Hendrick and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer were married Saturday" PERIOD

    I wish them the best, but really...

    1. And we still don't know what their silver pattern is, or what china they picked!

  10. I think the blandness of how they met is just stunning. I'm pretty sure the details of how I hooked up with R Man will never make it into a respectable news organ.

  11. If only I'd had a checklist that discriminating. Mine consisted of 'Breathing? Erectile function intact? Likes food?' Gentlemen, my fedora is off to you. You two have life KNOCKED.

  12. BTW: You kitchen is cooler than shit. I'd miss it too. *snif*

  13. Overcompensation. Period. And this too shall pass....