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

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

The New York Times tried to avoid the roast this week by dropping their marriage announcement early on me, but little do they know that content never sleeps and I’ve been waiting all week for this.

As always, original text in quotes.

* * *

Imperfect on Paper, Harmony in Practice

I don’t know what that means, but I’m excited to find out.

They owe it all to guitar lessons. Or maybe the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt she talked him into. Or maybe just to proximity and timing.

Fabergé Big Egg Hunt? That’s the whitest thing I’ve ever heard of, and that’s coming from a dude that’s currently wearing an outfit that mirrors Tim Allen in Home Improvement.

Amanda Gwendolyn Hulsey was getting over a broken six-year relationship in 2010 when she decided to sign up for classes at the Brooklyn Guitar School in Park Slope as a way to broaden her horizons and meet new people. She quickly made friends and connected with the “guitar-school grapevine,” as she called it.

If I were to get out of a six-year relationship, the last thing I’d do is sign up for fucking guitar lessons in Brooklyn. I’d hop on a steady diet of salad and brown liquor before downloading every dating app known to man.

It was at a school party several months later that she first met a guitar teacher (but not hers), Michelangelo Quirinale. She learned two things: They lived a block and a half apart in Brooklyn Heights, and he was at the party with his long-term girlfriend.

Oh no. I just understood what the headline meant with their “harmony” pun. Is Amanda seriously going to date a Brooklyn dude named Michelangelo? Is this an episode of Portlandia and everyone is playing a joke on me?

“I occasionally saw him around the neighborhood after that,” said Ms. Hulsey, a senior producer for the Food Network series “Chopped.” “I would cheerfully say hi to the cute, nice musician with the cool name, but he wasn’t on my radar at all, because he was taken.”

Just when you think you’re going to absolutely hate this couple, they unveil that she’s a senior producer on fucking “Chopped,” one of the most electric shows on television.

I’m also not sold on this dude’s name actually being Michelangelo. Like that’s just too Brooklyn to be true. There’s a 95% chance his birth certificate reads “Michael” instead.

But the grapevine spilled the news when his relationship ended in 2013. At parties and at musical performances of mutual friends over the next few months, the two got to know each other better.

I feel like these “musical performances” are some scene-y versions of slam poetry that Lena Dunham would make appearances at when she’s not taping Girls.

And on what Ms. Hulsey likes to call “a dark and stormy night” (because she was drinking a cocktail called Dark and Stormy, a mixture of rum, ginger beer and lime juice), they both stayed behind when others left after a concert at a Brooklyn music and comedy space. And they realized they had romantic feelings for each other.

Ugh. This is such a rollercoaster of emotions. Just when I think these two might be horrible, they fall in love over Dark And Stormies? Come on, that’s just tugging at my heart strings. I’m almost praying they become more insufferable so I don’t start hyping these two.

The problem, as both of them (and perhaps some of their friends) saw it, was that they had almost nothing in common.

I guess hipsters don’t adhere to “opposites attract.” So new wave of them.

She was a television producer from Houston with a journalism degree from Northwestern University. He was a musician from New England, who had lived in Providence, R.I., and Middlebury, Vt., and graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She was nine years older. She was used to getting up early for work. He wasn’t.

That dude’s path in life just screams, “My parents are filthy rich. New England? Providence? Middlebury? Berklee College of Music? Are you a Brooklyn piece of shit or an estranged Kennedy?

Mr. Quirinale, 30, and now a member of Thrilldriver, a heavy metal band, said, “I had kind of always felt like she’s really cool, she’s beautiful, but probably we aren’t into the same things.”

Phew. Okay, now I can really hate these two because you can’t come up with a more stereotypical name for a heavy metal band than “Thrilldriver.” It’s like he wanted to call it Crucifictorious, but Landry already took it.

Ms. Hulsey, 39, agreed, mostly: “If you just looked at us on paper, you wouldn’t say that was a perfect fit. People would have pegged us for having a good time for a while.”

But nothing more.

I was going to make a comment about the 9-year age difference, but it pales in comparison to last week’s 28-year age difference.

And that’s how they approached their dates, as two people just having fun, for now.

As luck would have it, in early 2014 Ms. Hulsey was in the middle of another self-improvement project. Six months before, she had promised herself to do something new every day for a year. So their first months of dating consisted of Mr. Quirinale doing new things with her.

I’m not entirely sure what a “self-improvement project” is but I assume it’s one of those things where you create an Instagram account and post a mediocre photo every day. Even hipsters can be basic, you guys.

That’s how they ended up sailing around Manhattan, visiting an old skating rink in Staten Island, cuddling at a drive-in movie theater in Warwick, N.Y., and at that giant egg hunt, which was the night Mr. Quirinale realized he might be falling in love.

Sailing around Manhattan? Please. Hitch got jet skies. Skating at an old rink in Staten Island? Things Girls Do After Graduation much?

“We’d only been dating about a month and a half,” he said. “We walked all throughout the city. We started downtown by South Street Seaport. We made it up to Rock Center.” The egg hunt, a charity event, required participants to find where nearly 300 eggs were hidden throughout the city.

This scavenger hunt sounds worse than that whole Santacon thing. Just a bunch of Brooklyn try-hards looking for Fabergé eggs? Woof.

“The whole time I remember Amanda going into places and saying, ‘Do you guys have an egg in here?’ She didn’t mind being silly,” Mr. Quirinale said.

Man, she’s so zany! She was looking for eggs and asking people “Do you guys have an egg in here?” wherever she looked. Such outside of the box thinking!

He loved that she didn’t care what people thought. “I was thinking, ‘That would be a great person to spend the rest of your life with,’” he said. “Somebody who was willing to take risks” and even “somebody who would be a great mother.”

This isn’t fucking risk taking. This is looking for expensive-ass eggs in New York City. She’s not base jumping in Switzerland or hiking K2. She’s walking down the damn street asking stores if they have fucking eggs.

For Ms. Hulsey, their Memorial Day 2014 weekend trip to Philadelphia was a turning point. “We were sort of casually dating up to that point,” she said, recalling once-a-week-or-so evenings together. “There was no pressure to define what we were.”

Just where everyone wants to vacation for a long Memorial Day weekend… Philadelphia!

They saw the movie “Rocky,” because she never had. They ran up and down the museum steps shown in the movie. By the time they posed for a selfie inside the giant human heart exhibit at the Franklin Institute, she was thinking: “It’s turned into something. This could be the guy.”

39 years old and has never seen “Rocky”? Say it with me now — “Deal breakerrrrrrr.” Glad a selfie session made her realize that he was the one though.

Mr. Quirinale said he was thinking that it was remarkable to spend four days of concentrated togetherness and “come out of it with no arguments and not getting on anybody’s nerves.”

That’s usually what you look for in a relationship. You know, being able to tolerate each other for four-day stretches. Ever heard of a honeymoon phase, you guys?

They soon found shared passions and learned, as she said, “Our commonalities are more about our personalities.”


When the couple took a Labor Day camping trip in the Adirondacks, she suggested a hike, although she wasn’t sure whether he would be up for it. They ended up walking 15 miles, including Mount Marcy (at 5,300 feet), the highest point in New York State.

Please end with a rock falling on one of them and the other having to cut an arm off like that James Franco movie. That’s all I want.

Ms. Hulsey, a regular bicyclist, gave him a Citi Bike pass for his birthday (“the gateway drug to bike commuting,” she said with a laugh). He was soon hooked on hiking and biking.

Hiking and cycling? How original. No lumbersexual hipster has ever had those two passions.

“Now we have a lot more in common,” Ms. Hulsey said. “We’ve kind of created those things together.”

Along with every other couple in Brooklyn, The Mission in San Francisco, and the entire Pacific Northwest.

They have learned to live with daily schedules still as different as night and day.

“During the week, when Amanda’s been shooting, she gets up very early, at 6,” Mr. Quirinale said. “Anything before 9 or 9:30, that’s not civilized.” He is still teaching guitar as well, but “even if we catch up just an hour a day,” he said, that’s enough.

“That’s enough,” is a phenomenal way to phrase seeing your future wife for a single hour per day. Just like, “Two hours? Nah, I’m good with one.” These two are destined for greatness.

Daily life may not always be perfect, she said, but he continues to show that “little things don’t bother him.”

He proved that early on when her sick cat had repeated accidents in the apartment. “He would just clean up and laugh it off,” she said.

Ignoring the smell of cat piss is always something I look for in a potential partner.

“I just really appreciated that as a quality that you’d want to try to hold on to,” she added. “It can also make you, yourself, not freak out, if you’re with someone who’s living that philosophy.”

Please do not forget that The New York Times, one of the most established publications in the world, is writing a story about a couple that’s bonding over their indifference of cat pee. What a world this is.

On Jan. 17, they were married before their 100 or so guests, including their parents, Mary Gwen Hulsey and Ben Hulsey of Houston and Pamela Quirinale and Josef Quirinale of Keene, N.H. The Rev. Bobby Vagt, a Presbyterian minister, officiated at the Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg, as the first real snow showers of the season fell outside the tall windows.

I thought they’d get married in a decorated alley with a lead singer of a band I’ve never heard of officiating, but then I remembered that Michelangelo’s loaded parents definitely forced them to have a Presbyterian minister.

All-white flower arrangements sat on tall wine barrels, and hanging white lights reflected in the windows as Emilio Tostado, a guitar school colleague of the groom’s, played.

Over/under on the amount of mason jars at this thing? 150.5?

The music continued as Ms. Hulsey, in an A-line tulle gown with beaded bodice and illusion straps, walked down the aisle to “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

I have no clue what those dress descriptors even mean, which is something I’d like to keep that way.

In their vows, she and Mr. Quirinale, with his long, curly hair pulled back for the occasion, promised to respect each other’s individuality as well as making the more traditional pledges. They exited the ceremony to “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

The Beatles? Man, really thinking outside the box here. Nothing screams “individuality” like playing the most popular band in the history of bands.

Mr. Hulsey recalled afterward that his daughter’s dream man, when she was very young, was “the typical stereotype of a Texan.”

Read: she wanted to marry Roger Dorn.

“His name was Bubba, drove a pickup, rode a horse, wore jeans, boots, cowboy hat, said ‘yes, ma’am, no, ma’am.’” Mr. Hulsey said. “So if Michelangelo might not be the guy we originally would have envisioned for Amanda, he is also not the guy Amanda envisioned. He’s much better and will be far more interesting to live with.”

Kind of shitty to insinuate that the stereotypical Texan isn’t interesting to live with, no? I mean, I’d rather live with a Tim Riggins-esque dude named Bubba than an insufferable metal guitarist named Michelangelo.

The groom and his band played Beatles, Bon Jovi, AC/DC and Journey at the reception, and Doll Parts, a Dolly Parton cover band, also entertained the guests.

During the reception, the bride, now an experienced guitar player (those lessons paid off), played a rendition of “Then He Kissed Me.”

As she finished, her groom did just that.

I want a video of this more than I wanted the video of the couple getting sung to last week. Unfortunately, God didn’t bless us with a video this week.

The couple live now, with a new cat, Julio (named for a Paul Simon song), in the Brooklyn Heights apartment that Ms. Hulsey has lived in for 11 years.

Fuck. These two are trying to ruin everything for me. Paul Simon? Dark and Stormies? Chopped? Ugh, that sounds like the perfect Sunday line-up.

And she is convinced that she met Mr. Quirinale when she did because she was making a special effort to be open to the world.

“You don’t know where you’d find love,” he said. “I didn’t think it would be the cute blond girl from down the block.”

Why wouldn’t it be a cute blonde from down the block? Isn’t that, like, a super normal and logical way to meet someone? Whatever. Best of wishes to the happy couple.

Image via Unsplash

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

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