Breaking Down This Week’s Insufferable New York Times Marriage Announcement: April 29

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Breaking Down This Week’s Insufferable New York Times Marriage Announcement: April 29

These marriage announcements are over the top. They’re built up by the writer through the words of the couple and turned into an absurd, overwrought story that’s hard to believe.

Today’s is no different. Let’s just get into it.

As always, original text in quotes.

* * *

A Lonely Walk in the Rain Leads to Love, Finally

The rain fell hard on Kevin McHale as he slogged through the empty cobblestone streets of his Washington neighborhood on a cold October night in 2011.

Okay, maybe The New York Times is taking these announcements a little too seriously. Slogged? Cobblestone streets? This isn’t Great Expectations, man.

Mr. McHale, then a mathematician at the United States Department of Defense, still had no answer to what happened to him two weeks earlier when Joanna Wollersheim, a colleague with whom he had been happily dating for more than a year, suddenly called it quits.

Damn, dude has to be in a dark place. It doesn’t sound like he’s sitting-Indian-style-crying-in-the-shower upset right now, but he’s definitely close. Probably just listening to a lot of dark Spotify playlists.

“I was completely blindsided and walking around in a daze,” said Mr. McHale, who is now 35 and writes software programs used for statistical analysis at the Washington office of the Premise Data Corporation, a San Francisco-based technology company.

Seriously, though, how can someone just walk out on a man that writes software programs used for statistical analysis at the Washington office of the Premise Data Corporation?

“We were driving to a friend’s birthday party when Joanna just turned to me and said she wanted to break up,” he said. “There was a lot of confusion, and a lot of tears.”

Dude, run. This is a blessing in disguise even though you don’t realize it. If she’s going to leave you in the dust without saying anything, there’s no telling what else she’ll do. I know your résumé isn’t exactly made to kill it with the ladies, but you’ve gotta at least making enough bank to lock down something solid.

Ms. Wollersheim, 34, a researcher at the Defense Department, blamed the breakup on “dealing with personal challenges and immaturities.”

Yeah, sure. What was his name though?

“I was young and feeling smothered,” she said. “The idea of being in a relationship while I was still trying to find my inner self became overwhelming.”

Why couldn’t you tell Kevin this then? He deserved to know. His emotions aren’t just something you can toy with.

They had met in June 2010 amid more sweat than tears at an exercise boot camp held two nights a week in what Ms. Wollersheim described as “the dimly lit basement of a U.S. Defense Department building.”

This sounds wildly creepy. Like the sort of creepy thing you’d see Frank Underwood doing before he strangled someone to death.

“There were all of these muscular drill-sergeant-types in our faces, just barking out exercise orders,” she said. “It was grueling, but it was a nice change of pace from sitting behind a computer all day.”

Am I missing something? Why are they doing this? This might be a generalization, but it doesn’t sound like either of these two are exactly cut out for this type of workout.

It wasn’t long before Mr. McHale noticed Ms. Wollersheim.

Well, yeah, the only reason dudes go to workout classes is to scope babes. Everyone knows that.

“She was the fastest and most fit person there,” he said. “She had this real exotic look about her, with olive skin and short hair and she always dressed in a neat, funky way. She was absolutely beautiful.”

Honestly, that kinda got my motor runnin’. Low-key into this broad rn despite the fact that she sounds batshit crazy. But maybe that’s just adding to the allure? Not sure.

Though Mr. McHale did not introduce himself during their intense workouts (“I didn’t want to risk even more punishment from our instructors for talking during class,” he said, laughing), he managed to catch up with Ms. Wollersheim two weeks later at a going-away party for a mutual friend held at a bar in Washington.

Low and slow. Love the game you’re playing, Kevin.

They began talking and found out that they lived a half-mile from each other on the north end of Capitol Hill. Ms. Wollersheim, who was unattached at the time, was instantly taken with him.

How can’t you be immediately taken with him? He writes software programs used for statistical analysis at the Washington office of the Premise Data Corporation. That screams, “I’m dripping in sex.”

“He was so attractive, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed him in boot camp,” she said. “I was so impressed with the fact that he had this real sense of genius about him but wasn’t at all pretentious and had no ulterior motives, unlike most people in Washington who go out of their way to show you how well rounded they are and size you up for whatever connections they can make through you.”

I mean, not to be rude, but his job title doesn’t exactly lead on that he’s an extrovert. I wouldn’t be surprised that he isn’t the braggadocious type.

She suggested they car-pool from their evening workouts to their respective apartments. The next day, they were on the road to discovering each another, a half-mile at a time.

You know what they say — “First comes carpooling, then comes marriage.” Age old adage.

She learned that he had grown up in Woodhaven, Queens, and was 13 when his father, Michael McHale, a retired captain in the New York City Transit Police Department, moved the family to Boca Raton, Fla.

Queens to Boca? That’s like winning the goddamn lottery.

The younger Mr. McHale graduated from the University of Florida, then traveled west to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, where he received a Ph.D. in bioengineering.

Okay, enough about their backgrounds. Don’t tell me about the birth, just show me the baby.

While in graduate school, he designed and built a laser-scanning microscope used to study the motions of individual molecules of DNA. Developed solely as a research instrument, it is still used for that purpose at Stanford, where Mr. McHale later did some postdoctoral work.

Ummm, what? Kevin, you dog. I like how they just slip it in here that the dude just built a laser-scanning fucking microscope.

“I was blown away by his intelligence,” Ms. Wollersheim said. “He could talk about anything, but he never came across like he was bragging. He was always humble and very unassuming.”

As I said, dude isn’t the braggadocious type, guys. Low and slow is Kevin’s game. “If you build it, they will come,” says Kevin.

In 2004, she traveled to Egypt, where she received a master’s certificate in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies from the American University in Cairo as an international Fulbright scholar. She spent three years in Cairo, during which she taught English to Egyptian children and rowed on the university’s crew team. She left Egypt for Syria in 2007, where she spent the next year studying the Arabic language at Damascus University.

Both of these people sound like the types that just get degrees to have degrees. You know, they have a little family money so they can just keep dipping back into school to show everyone how smart they are despite the fact that they’re not doing anything. Besides Kev who’s just building microscopes, but still.

Also wouldn’t be a marriage announcement if one of them wasn’t on a crew team.

“I was fascinated by her experiences,” Mr. McHale said.

Along the way, they found they each had a common love of working out, taking long bike rides, reading Hemingway and trying new restaurants.

“I was beginning to feel a great sense of comfortability around him,” Ms. Wollersheim said.

Dammit. These two had to like Hemingway. It’s hard to make fun of fellow fans but Kev seems like a good dude so let’s just press on.

But that feeling evaporated, she said, the moment Mr. McHale mentioned in passing, about two weeks in to their conversations, that he had a girlfriend. (Though he maintains he had mentioned it “a lot sooner than that.”)

Kevin! You had a girlfriend this entire time?! Wow, wrench just got thrown onto this mess. This dude is just flirting up a storm when the entire time he’s got a full-timer at home riding the bench? Savage as hell, Kevin.

“I was heartbroken,” Ms. Wollersheim said. “I remember getting so upset and going home and just sitting on the couch and feeling terrible about the whole situation. I was very depressed and disappointed. But it was a reality I had to accept.”

I’m gonna guess she listened to some Alanis while sitting Indian-style in the shower like I mentioned earlier. That’s real shit.

By August, boot camp had ended, and with it their car-pooling arrangement. Ms. Wollersheim said that she and Mr. McHale “kind of remained friends and talked on occasion.”

Did Kevin’s girlfriend know that he was just casually car-pooling to workout classes? Or did Kevin not actually have a girlfriend in the first place? Kind of like the dude in Can’t Hardly Wait who insisted his girlfriend was a model overseas?

In February 2011, the Defense Department began relocating certain offices. Mr. McHale was sent to another building and the following month, Ms. Wollersheim’s office was relocated to the same building. They were soon bumping into each other and conversing with greater frequency. Before long, they were car-pooling again.

I’m just going to call it — Kevin’s girlfriend was fake and he was using it as a way to make her jealous. He’s always one step ahead of the game.

“I still had a crush on him,” Ms. Wollersheim said. “But at that point, I had learned to guard my heart from wanting something that wasn’t available to me.”

Exactly. What. Kevin. Wanted.

In April 2011, Mr. McHale mentioned in an email to her that he and his girlfriend had split up.

Love it. Kevin finally ditched the schtick one night when he was feeling randy.

“I was in disbelief,” Ms. Wollersheim said. “I knew this was about his life, so I wasn’t sure that meant anything for me, I really had no idea where things might go from there.”

Oh, you knew. Kevin has masterminded himself a pretty amazing situation.

The following month, she received a text from Mr. McHale inviting her up to his rooftop one early morning to watch the sun rise. “I was really excited,” she said, “but I wasn’t quite sure if I was going on a first date.”

Neither was he.

For this guy being seemingly such a nerd, he has an incredible amount of game when it comes to courting the ladies. Sunrise first date is something I’ve never even considered.

“I hoped that she would consider it a date, because I really liked her,” Mr. McHale said. “I figured that she couldn’t possibly think this is something that two friends do before they drive to work in the morning.”

Love that Kevin is playing dumb for The New York fucking Times. Kevo, this reader base is pretty cultured. We get it. You slay. Let’s move on.

Up on the roof, they snuggled under a blanket in the chill of the predawn, and as the sun began to rise over the nation’s capital, they shared their first kiss.

And boom goes the dynamite.

They began dating steadily and seemed to be sailing along until that October day when Ms. Wollersheim abruptly ended their relationship.

I… I still don’t get this. And if I don’t get it, you know Kevin is just beside himself because he played this all perfectly.

“All of a sudden he blurts out ‘I love you,’” Ms. Wollersheim said. “We had never spoken those words before.”

This girl is a wildcard, in all the wrong ways. While I respect Kevin, he’s just in too deep at this point.

Nevertheless, they parted ways and had not seen nor heard from each other for two weeks until Mr. McHale, confused and hurt, took that lonely walk in the rain. Wandering around that night, he spotted a figure walking toward him in the dark.

Bullshit. This can’t be her. This isn’t a movie. If this is her, I might be done with this false story altogether.

“It was Joanna,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Neither could she.

Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.

“I remembered thinking at that moment that it had to be God who dropped us off on yet another path where we were headed for each other,” Ms. Wollersheim said. “I truly felt it was a sign that we still had something very special together.”

Or hear me out for a second. What if this microscope-creating motherfucker rigged up Find Friends on her iPhone without her knowing and constructed this “random” rainy meet-up out of nowhere? Is that REALLY that far out of the realm of possibility?

They retreated beneath an awning and began a two-hour conversation that left them feeling as though they would make it through the storm, together.

Oh come on, Kevin. Call a damn Uber and have this conversation in the comfort of one of your own apartments. The allure of the rain had to have worn off pretty quickly.

“We discussed what we had been going through emotionally during the breakup,” she said. “I realized that I had been putting up a lot of walls and that I needed to trust that moving forward, Kevin would be a supporting force in my life.”

Still not buying this. I feel like she went and got weird with an ex like Marnie did in that one recent episode of Girls.

In the time since, the bride’s father, Jerry Wollersheim, said he saw how his daughter (“a strong-willed girl”) and Mr. McHale (“a problem-solver by nature”) grew in their relationship. “They have come to appreciate each other’s talents and shortcomings,” he said, “and it’s that kind of love and respect that has allowed them to them work through any problems.”

Opposites attract, I guess. This isn’t mindblowing stuff, Jerry.

The couple were married April 24 at St. Francis Hall, adjacent to the Franciscan Monastery in the serene Brookland neighborhood of northeast Washington. Stephen Norberg, a friend of the couple and a minister of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, officiated before 143 guests.

Sounds like a chill-ass setting, tbh. Not sure what the Foursquare Gospel is. Maybe it’s like Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit.

As the ceremony began in the medieval-looking hall, “Here Comes the Bride” played over the speakers as the guests applauded and fixed their collective gaze at large French doors in the back of the hall from which Ms. Wollersheim would surely emerge. But the guests began stirring after a near minute had ticked by and the bride had not yet appeared.

While reading this paragraph, I legitimately thought to myself, “Would ANYONE be that surprised if she ditched on this wedding?”

“Nobody worry, I know exactly what to do,” the groom announced into a microphone as a sneaky grin ran across his face. He hopped off the stage and scooted down the aisle until he reached his friend Matt Fouse.

Awwww, this is so cute! Just kidding. This is bullshit. No one should bring this type of emotional drama to a fucking wedding ceremony. Get these people in and get these people out.

After a brief exchange, Mr. Fouse pulled a trumpet he had stored in a backpack and hidden under his chair, put it to his lips and looked up toward the cartwheel chandeliers and a window on a second level of the hall, above the French doors.

Hold on… what? Dude just randomly had a fucking trumpet hidden under his chair that he randomly started playing it during the fucking wedding? When did this turn into a Disney movie?

The bride appeared in the window, wearing a blush- and rose-hued wedding gown by Bhldn from Anthropologie with a cherry-blossom-colored lace ribbon braided into her hair that fell off her shoulder.

Wonder how much Anthro paid to have that dropped in there. Couldn’t have been cheap.

“How did you find your way to my bedroom?” the bride asked in a Shakespearean tone, treating the amused guests to a more modern, more colloquial version of a scene from “Romeo and Juliet.”

This has officially turned into the most fucked up wedding I’ve ever heard of.

“It was but love that led me here,” said the groom, who then went off script. “And I don’t think I’ll be able to say much more without laughing or crying,” he said.

I… I think I hate this but I can’t tell. Just where did this all come from? I can’t fathom attending a ceremony that unfolds like this.

As more laughter filled the theatrical space, the bride shouted, “I’ll be right down.”

Okay, just what the fuck.

Before reciting their vows, the couple took turns sitting on the stage to talk about relationships, in particular their own, and what they had learned about love since entering each other’s lives.

Barf. Just say some quick vows and let everyone get to the open vows. At this point, they’re all weirded out anyway.

“What our relationship taught me is that love requires an enduring heart,” Ms. Wollersheim said. “Love is not a Hollywood movie where prince and princess meet, it’s a lifetime journey filled with many challenges.

But y’all turned this into a Hollywood movie with all your rainy-day theatrics and wedding ridiculousness. You two want this to be a Hollywood movie.

“By walking together,” she said, “we have the strength it takes to make that journey through any kind of weather.”

We’ve had several weird couples, but this one might be the biggest head-scratcher. I’m still not sure what to make of these two, but I’m okay with that.

Image via Unsplash

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Editor at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram).

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