Breaking Down This Week’s Insufferable New York Times Marriage Announcement: March 28

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Breaking Down This Week’s Insufferable New York Times Marriage Announcement: March 28

You know how they say “two heads are better than one”? Yeah, well here’s a couple of dorks that’ll dispell that for you immediately. I don’t know where these two get off, but the idea that it’s okay to have two weddings is just preposterous to me unless you’re Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson.

Let’s dive in. As always, original text in quotes.

* * *

Two Weddings are Better than One

As a child, Linnea Sanderson always had a basketball in her hand. When at age 14, her steady rise as a player was cut short by a serious back injury suffered during a pickup game, she bounced back, becoming a competitive tennis player and swimmer.

This might be off-subject but if you’re addicted to basketball, why come back to swim and play tennis? Getting a major back injury playing pickup only to come back and win the WNBA title sounds like something out of a sports movie I’d never watch.

Ms. Sanderson is also said to be a crack fisherwoman. As with so many of her other activities, she is typically good at it without seeming to try hard.

Yeah, she sure sounds like she doesn’t like to talk about it considering these are the first things that we’re reading about in her fucking marriage announcement.

“She’s one of those people who are lucky to be born athletic, and persistent,” said her mother, Helena Sanderson of Nashua, N.H. “I’ve told her I hope she lives long enough to use all of the God-given gifts.”

You hope she lives long enough? Really? If someone said that to me, I’d worry I had some secret disease that no one was telling me about. I mean, sometimes I fear that I’m mentally retarded or have perpetual mono and don’t realize it, and the entire world is just being nice to me because they feel bad for me.

A stable relationship was one thing that Linnea Sanderson, now 32 and a third-year medical student at Brown University in Providence, R.I., had not excelled at. During the years she spent living and working as a high school teacher in Manhattan, she had spent plenty of time dating, but nothing endured.

No one wanted to date a girl that spent her time playing pickup basketball and fishing? Man, who woulda thunk.

“In New York, there were fantastically interesting and attractive men around every corner,” she said. “But the relationships were always so fast and fleeting.”

Then she looked further afield.

It’s those terrible sports puns that make these marriage announcements what they are — terrible.

It was late and cold on Feb. 23, 2013, when Ms. Sanderson finished celebrating her 29th birthday with friends in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. She had trudged toward her studio apartment on West 109th Street and run into an old flame on the wintry street. They detoured to a bar, where the former lovers shared a few more drinks, and nothing more than a kiss. Ms. Sanderson arrived home in the wee hours of the morning, tired and alone.

“Nothing more than a kiss”? I’m callin’ bullshit on that one. You don’t just go to a random bar with an old flame on your last birthday before you turn thirty if you’re not fixin’ to catch some d. Single? Alone? Almost thirty? That’s a recipe for tossing out some late-night texts that’ll make any guy jump off his couch and throw on some Old Spice Swagger.

Before turning off the lights, she logged on to OkCupid and decided to look for men in New Hampshire, where she had grown up. She knew it to be a place where life and relationships may not be so hurried.

I don’t even want to imagine what went down in that bedroom that caused her to be in such a dark place that she immediately got on OkCupid when she got home. I mean, we’ve all had less than desirable hookups, but you know it’s bad when you beeline it to a dating website after. I bet the oddsmakers are saying that her “old flame” had a girlfriend and she realized it only after their drunken, sloppy hookup.

She soon found a profile for Robert Davidson. “He seemed outdoorsy and also intelligent,” she said, “and I knew that if he lived on 109th Street, we’d probably already be dating.”

We all know what happens when a guy seems outdoorsy on his dating profile.

Dr. Davidson’s profile indicated that he lived in New Hampshire, 223 miles to the north. As a woman who appreciated math and symmetry, the fact that his distance matched her birthday seemed a plus. She sent a message that said only, “Isn’t it a coincidence that we live 223 miles apart?”

Her radius was up to 223 miles away? Reek of desperation a little more, why don’t ya? And to justify it by comparing it to her birthday? Woof. Have some respect for yourself.

At the time, Dr. Davidson couldn’t fathom the significance, numerical or otherwise.

Well, yeah, it’s pretty hard to fathom something that doesn’t fucking exist.

“I messaged her back and our conversation was definitely interesting,” said Dr. Davidson, 42, who holds a Ph.D. in genetics from Duke and works as a principal scientist at Avitide, a firm in Lebanon, N.H., that purifies pharmaceuticals. “She seemed kindhearted with absurd humor, but the distance just seemed too far,” he said. “And she didn’t have a car. I eventually decided it just wasn’t worth my time replying.”

Hell yeah, Dr. Rob. 223 miles away? See ya! Dude is a doctor who went to Duke. He can probably go out on any given night, buy a couple dry martinis for some floozie at the bar, and immediately get some honey on his stinger without batting an eyelash.

Things changed a year later when OkCupid’s location algorithm let him know that Ms. Sanderson had moved to Providence, 150 miles away. He sent a note asking how she was doing in medical school. And although she didn’t remember him, after perusing his profile again, she agreed to take a train and meet him for a January dinner in Boston.

A year later and these two are still slumming it on OkCupid? These two are worse than I fucking thought. I got bored on Tinder after a good six months.

On the appointed night, they looked across a chilly Boston Harbor as lightning darted across the sky and a stream of planes took off from Logan Airport. Ms. Sanderson, who has an abiding interest in aeronautic design, surprised him with her ability to identify the model of every plane.

And this officially sounds like the nerdiest dinner ever had. If I sat there and a girl started droning on about plane models, I’d excuse myself to go to the bathroom and have an Uber waiting before she could even order another glass of Pinot and finish fixing her makeup.

After dinner, he offered to drive her back to Providence so she wouldn’t have to rush to the last train. “She was so striking, but a total nerd,” he said. “She knew all about cytokines and seemed obsessed with airplane mechanics and engineering. I’d never been to Providence and thought it was as good a time as any to get to know Rhode Island’s capital.”

If you didn’t smile when he called her a total nerd, then you have zero appreciation for these marriage announcements. But he’s kind of a pot calling the kettle black considering he was sober enough to drive her home from their first date. I can count the number of sober first dates I’ve ever been on using zero fingers.

Before the date, Sean Love, a medical school colleague of Ms. Sanderson’s and a devotee of “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” offered advice about finding Mr. Right. “I insisted she stick to one of my cardinal rules on their first date, no more than two drinks and no getting physical,” he said. “Faithful Linnea adhered to this.”

If you’re living your life using the rules that Patti Stanger sets out for you, you lead a sad fucking existence.

More than once, Dr. Davidson took a chance and drove three hours to Providence just to see if she could squeeze in brunch with him. “At first I wasn’t sure if it was creepy or not,” she said.

Uh, it was hella creepy, Linnea.

Eventually, Ms. Sanderson spent a weekend at Dr. Davidson’s house on the shore of Mascoma Lake, in western New Hampshire. And soon, the couple began spending every weekend together, sometimes at the lake, where they fished and cooked together.

When they first went to that lake house together, you know she went in with some precautionary signals for her friends that this dude was a murderer. Anytime I’m at a lake house, the first thing that goes through my head is that it would be incredibly easy for someone to thrill-kill me, especially if that person drives around aimlessly for hours on end trying to have brunch with me.

While cooking, Dr. Davidson revealed his meticulous nature. Ms. Sanderson said, “The first time my mother met him, she was struck by the uniformity of his vegetable cutting, saying she thought the squash and carrots looked machine-chopped.”

And even more red flags when you’re already wondering if you’re dating an axe murderer. Dude stalks her, brings her to a lake house, and reveals that he’s an expert with a fucking knife? Nah, I’m good.

Everywhere they went, including regular visits to Rhode Island and New York, they doted on Ms. Sanderson’s rescued terrier, Penny. “Penny is the center of her universe,” said Patricia Lomando, Ms. Sanderson’s friend since seventh grade. “I knew Rob was the one for Linnea when she sent me a photo of Rob napping on the bed with Penny tucked under his arm.”

Now Rob is just completely tainted in my eyes. Even imagining him sleeping innocently with a puppy creeps me out after this buildup.

David Watts, Dr. Davidson’s friend from graduate school, said: “He started making decisions and sacrifices I’d never seen before. He became generous with his time, thoughtful about his career and more careful as a listener. He felt strongly enough about Linnea to buy a condominium in Providence so she would have a safe place to live.”

I bet the couches were covered in plastic and he had a bunch of Phil Collins cassette tapes that he had her listen to.

It was on the basketball court that Ms. Sanderson most surprised Dr. Davidson’s friends. She could “execute an up-and-under move that could result in a college-level basketball player looking quite foolish,” Dr. Davidson said with pride.

No offense to Rob, but considering his science-filled resumé, he comes off as the type of dude who would take free throws underhanded and be impressed that she can make a lay-up on her first try.

“I’m not someone who loses well or easily,” he said. “But Linnea is naturally good at a lot of things I pride myself at being good at, so I have to learn the lesson of humility. She can play competitively at just about any sport you want to try to pick up: Ping-Pong, croquet, darts, pool. However, she really takes tremendous pride in none of it. She’s much more proud of her artistic abilities and of attaining knowledge and mostly of the relationships she’s built.”

Wait, Rob. You just went to think of the most competitive sports you could think of and the best you could come up with were ping-pong, croquet, darts, and pool? Those are… those are barely sports, bro. Maybe it’s the WASPy East Coast coming out of you, but I’m going to say that you’re not entirely sure how to play any sports that are actually, well, fucking sports.

A year after they began dating, Dr. Davidson surprised her with a marriage proposal at exactly 2:23 p.m. — just as she was stepping off the Boston train to meet him.

Ugh, barf. Not that stupid number again. Like, what if she arrived at 2:20? Did he just have to sit there checking his watch waiting for the next 180 seconds to pass? I would’ve thought he was going to throw me on the tracks the moment the train arrived.

The couple had wanted to wed before their friends and family at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, Mass., on Leap Day, Feb. 29, “because it’s magical, with physics, astronomy, time and history melting together to give the world a bonus day,” Ms. Sanderson said.

Dammit, dammit, dammit. Enough with these Leap Day enthusiasts. That’s the nerdiest possible day to get married, only next to Pi Day.

But because it fell on a Monday, “it didn’t work with my school schedule, or anyone else’s work schedules,” she said.

Instead, on Jan. 2, the groom and groomsmen began the day with a polar plunge before the nonbinding ceremony at the church. A reception for 135 followed at Cruiseport, a large event space in Gloucester.

Fuck. They had to choose my birthday, didn’t they? This is the New York Times’ way of trolling me in an effort to get me to stop writing these. Sorry, not happening, guys.

“We wanted to celebrate with friends and family during the holidays when I had a break from school and our guests could spend a long weekend,” she said.

And all of your friends and family hated you because you made them travel over the holidays in addition to making them drink hard the day after New Year’s Day — something I don’t even make my friends do, and I’m a certified birthday diva.

Nevertheless, he said, they remained committed to “legally solemnize on Leap Day.” Besides the wedding couple, in attendance were the Rev. Deirdre Greenwood White, the Presbyterian minister who had led the earlier ceremony; the bride’s mother and younger brother Jeff; and Penny, the bride’s dog, who, like her owner, walked down the aisle for the second time.

Wait, so y’all had a smoke and mirrors wedding and then waited for two months to make it official? You’re the worst. If I had traveled to their wedding only to realize they were doing that, I’d be furious I spent my New Year’s Weekend with those nerds instead of spending a quarter of the money enjoying myself elsewhere.

After they exchanged their vows, the doubly married couple rang the church’s old brass bell to announce their wedding. Ms. Sanderson, wearing her silk bias-cut wedding gown for the second time, announced, “We’re going to get married again on April Fool’s Day, because as long as the dress fits, I want to get married monthly.”

Fuck that, Linnea. I can give you 223 reasons why no one should fucking attend your third fucking wedding.

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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