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I took a break. Every Friday, I checked The New York Times for yet another insufferable marriage announcement. But week in and week out, I just wasn’t seeing it. I got to the point where I quit going altogether. I had lost hope that I had ruined marriage announcements forever, and they’d all be normal going forward.
But boy, was I wrong.
Today, I offer to you one of the most entertaining marriage announcements to date. Depending on how you look at it, it might be the most entertaining to date. But that’s not for me to decide. Allow me to present to you this past week’s ‘insufferable marriage announcement’ in all its glory.
Of All the Taco Bells in All the Towns…
One night in 2001, when she was just 15, Jessie Della Femina threw what was meant to be a private party at her Hamptons home. The precocious Ms. Della Femina was a fashion upstart who that summer ran a trunk show with a friend, who had diabetes, to raise money for research. She ended up with a clothing line in more than 300 stores.
What kind of fucking 15-year-old is throwing Hamptons house parties? Like, I know you have to expect that there’s going to be an overload of insufferableness when you click into one of these marriage announcements, but this is some advanced MTV “My Super Sweet 16” shit.
“She was doing off-the-shoulder before anybody did off-the-shoulder,” the makeup entrepreneur Trish McEvoy said.
This marriage announcement has started off so pretentious that they’re assuming we’re supposed to know who “makeup entrepreneur Trish McEvoy” is. Not only do I not know who she is, but I also don’t know why ‘doing off-the-shoulder’ is some sort of accomplishment. To me it just looks uncomfortable and hard to keep your shirt on.
That night, three young strangers crashed her party. One was Ben Gliklich, a Horace Mann student and the son of two Manhattan doctors — “a neurotic, anxious Jewish boy from the Upper East Side,” according to his childhood friend Nathaniel Hochman.
What type of community is just allowing 15-year-old sons of doctors to be crashing house parties starring clothing moguls and makeup entrepreneurs? At 15, I was playing roller hockey in my best friend’s driveway in between marathons of NFL Blitz for Nintendo 64.
Mr. Gliklich spotted Ms. Della Femina and said to his friends, “We’re out of our league here.”
Yeah, alright, Ben. I’ve got a feeling you were pretty drunk off a water bottle filled with your parents’ vodka and had no idea where the hell you were.
Yet Ms. Della Femina gravitated to him immediately. By the end of the evening, she knew “he was my person,” she said. They spent the rest of the summer together.
Does anyone else have a pile of puke in their mouth from “he was my person”? That’s up there with posting an Instagram with “this guy” in the caption or “marrying my best friend.” Like, you’re 15. This kid was just trying to get a handie and you’re probably forcing him to cuddle with you in a seaside hammock while imagining your wedding dress.
Ms. Della Femina, even with her devil-may-care sashay, is organized and responsible. Her quirks may be the result of an upbringing with her mother, the former broadcast journalist Judy Licht, and her father, the advertising titan Jerry Della Femina, whose book, “From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front Line Dispatches From the Advertising War,” was an inspiration for the television series “Mad Men.”
I might just be an uncultured swine, but what the hell is a “devil-may-care sashay”? And have I been desensitized by these marriage announcements to the point where when someone inspires a series like “Mad Men,” I simply think, “Meh, I’ve seen better,” or…?
“Hyperorganization and discipline are not what Jerry and I specialize in,” Ms. Licht said.
Well yeah, it’s because you’re loaded and are letting your 15-year-old daughter throw parties at your Hamptons house where skeezy teenage dudes were crashing it trying to get to second base for the first time.
Ms. Della Femina, who is now 31, spent a year as a child eating Campbell’s tomato soup for breakfast. She haunts tag sales on the East End for hopeless furniture and wallows in neon colors and carbohydrates, including the Asian duck pizza at World Pie in Bridgehampton. She knows what she likes, and she knew she liked Mr. Gliklich.
I just spit out my coffee on my screen and had to take a five-minute break from writing this in order to clean it off. The fact that this little girl eating Campbell’s tomato soup for breakfast for an entire year is the least awful sentence in that paragraph speaks volumes for how awful that paragraph truly is.
I don’t want to make any assumptions (yes, I do) but does she really need to shop tag sales? I’ve got a sneaky feeling her bank account has more digits than my cell phone number in it. And Asian duck pizza? Is nothing sacred anymore? Is there something that triggers rich people and tells their brain, “Pepperoni-jalapeno isn’t the best pizza to you anymore. Eat. more. duck.”
Despite her early foray into fashion design, she preferred home furnishings to fashion, eventually founding Jessie Della Femina Design, a residential real-estate development and home design firm in Sag Harbor, N.Y. She is also a broker for the Corcoran Group.
This author wrote “early foray into fashion design” like this wasn’t just an internship her mom got her and a failed fashion blog that she couldn’t figure out how to delete.
There’s something about rich girls who just default to “founding” their own design companies. Like, there’s no way these companies profit and there’s a 100% chance they’re just haggling with stores for designer discounts with their tax ID numbers so they can furnish their own apartments that their parents pay for so they can Instagram them pretending like they’re successful.
As thunderstruck as he felt in Ms. Della Femina’s presence when they were teenagers — “she had this precocious elegance,” he said — he broke up with her at the end of the summer. Even at the tender age of 17, he felt compelled to honor a commitment to a school-year girlfriend.
I forgot that we even had this dude in the equation. This entire piece has been a puff-piece on Jessie Della Whateverthehell. But let me say this – this dude ain’t doing himself any favors by using phrases like “precocious elegance.” How he is helping himself though? Realizing that a little piece of summer candy ain’t worth holding onto when he can go back to the year-round love he was getting at boarding school. Not a snowball’s chance in hell that he told his “school-year girlfriend” about his summer fling. Girl just got blindsided while reading this marriage announcement.
Mr. Gliklich, 32, does not make commitments casually. He grew up in a household built on structure: His parents taped over the saltshaker to discourage its use; dessert was cucumber and cantaloupe. On family vacations, they dragged him to museums. “I hated it,” he said.
Doesn’t make commitments casually? Are we talking about the same guy who just spent a summer in a committed relationship only to spend the rest of the school year in a different committed relationship? Okay, just making sure.
But age instilled perspective: Mr. Gliklich majored in art history at Princeton.
Saw that one coming from a mile away. Nothing screams, “I’ll never have to earn a dime in my life” like majoring in art history at an Ivy. Well, outside of “founding” a design company right out of college.
Every time Mr. Gliklich returned home, he contacted his friends, including Ms. Della Femina. New York became a matchmaker for the couple; each time they reunited in the city or in the Hamptons, sparks flew. Yet despite the privileged New York script that they were following — private Manhattan high schools and Ivy League colleges for both — the more radical Mr. Gliklich always craved new landscapes. Ms. Della Femina, the New York loyalist, stuck to her roots.
Even during the von Trapp wedding announcement that set the internet ablaze, I’m not sure we’ve ever had a paragraph quite like this one. Just straight up acknowledging that, yes, these two are loaded and privileged and can do whatever the fuck they want in life. Not even mad about it – I respect it. At least they’re being honest with us.
But sidenote: if you’re Gliklich and you’re getting a little something-something when you’re at home and abroad, aren’t you living life right?
And he was always waving goodbye. In August 2008, he left for Sydney, Australia. He needed, he said, “to rupture the umbilical cord.”
Read: pound some Aussie strange.
Mr. Gliklich’s parents, like Ms. Della Femina’s, are also grounded in New York. His mother, Dr. Jane Salmon, is a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine who was recently inducted into the National Academy of Medicine. His father, Dr. Jerry Gliklich, is a professor of medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and a cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian.
Those last few sentences put me to sleep. Obviously they’ve made enough money to let their son gallivant around the globe hitting on babes and sailing, but those professions are a Snooze Fest.
They could not understand the wanderlust of Mr. Gliklich and his brother (who moved to California). “We asked ourselves, ‘What did we do wrong?’” Dr. Salmon said. “We were clinically depressed.”
Wanderlust. That word had to make an appearance in this column.
But I can answer what you did wrong as parents: you raised your kids with too long of a leash. Remember when your son was crashing Hamptons parties before he had a driver’s license? Yeah, pretty sure you should’ve kept an eye on him instead.
For two years, Mr. Gliklich worked for Goldman Sachs in Australia. He traveled, dated and detailed his adventures in group emails that read like travelogues. “Sydney summer is every man’s dream woman: hot, bright and fun,” he wrote in one. “Consistent, but just wild enough to keep things interesting.”
I’ve gone from hate-reading this announcement to officially being completely jealous of this dude’s life. He sounds like a modern day Dickie Greenlead from The Talented Mr. Ripley, which is pretty much the highest praise you can get from me.
He visited New York in 2009 for Thanksgiving and spent the weekend with Ms. Della Femina. She told her childhood friend and roommate at the time, Jamie Davidson, that if Mr. Gliklich returned to the United States, she would marry him. It was a big if. And she had no intentions of leaving New York, the font of her energy and enthusiasm.
It wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving break if you weren’t shooting out a, “Hey, going to be around over Thanksgiving?” to your old flames. And it’s almost like the author was begging for me to rip apart the phrase “the font of her energy and enthusiasm.” And you know what? I’m going to do just that.
I know this girl is a designer or whatever. And I know she lives a charmed life in New York. But gag me with a spoon if you’re going to describe something as a “font” rather than just being normal and saying something like, “New York fueled her energy and enthusiasm for life.” A font? Really? Really?
In 2010, New York called Mr. Gliklich back. And Ms. Della Femina was there, waiting.
Hell yeah, she was. I would’ve been too. This dude sounds tiiiiiiight.
They couch-competed while watching “Jeopardy!” almost daily, went on food tours of the boroughs, including in Flushing, Queens, where they ate 75-cents-a-cup lo mein from a stall underneath the elevated train, and dated regularly though not exclusively.
And. the. plot. thickens.
I don’t care that they’re trying to humanize these two by acting like eating cheap lo mein is some noble act. But the fact that she knew they were going to get married only for him to return and not date her exclusively? International playboy much? It’s one thing to be known in your group of friends as a dude that gets a lot of tail, but for it to be documented forever in The New York Times? Legendary.
“Immediately getting into a relationship just wasn’t what I wanted,” Mr. Gliklich said.
*nodding feverishly with approval*
Early in 2012, she considered calling an end to whatever it was they had. One evening, after going to a party in Manhattan, they had words regarding where their relationship was going, and went their separate ways. At 4 a.m. Mr. Gliklich found himself the sole customer of a Taco Bell on 14th Street, at the other end of the city from where he lived. As he stood alone at the counter, he heard the door open.
Ms. Della Femina walked in. By chance. At 4 in the morning. Nowhere near where she lived either.
Okay. Now I’m no mathematician, but I need to know the numbers behind the chances of this happening. Same Taco Bell? In New York City? Nowhere near where either of them lived? I’m callin’ “bullshit” on this one. She either went full crazy and stalked him all the way there, or set up Find Friends on his iPhone and “happened” to walk in while he was drunkenly plowing a Grilled Stuffed Burrito and some Cinnamon Twists while firing off a series of “you up?” texts.
They sat together, their dispute forgotten, and they talked and laughed like the friends they had long been, in the city where she had always been sure they both belonged.
Nothing screams “eternity” like bonding in a grimy Taco Bell at 4 in the morning when the only people out are drunk, homeless, or working night shifts at grimy Taco Bells.
He suggested they take a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway, a cliff-hugging screamer of a car ride that had Ms. Della Femina hoarse from the exhilaration. They ate Mexican food in Santa Barbara, discussed design at the Hearst Castle and marveled at the jellyfish exhibits at the Monterey aquariums. Mr. Gliklich saw what Ms. Della Femina had seen from their starting point.
Is this what rich people do? They go around effing each other before “settling down” to go on adventures filled with jellyfish museums and oceanside cruises? Because if so, I want to be a rich person who goes around effing people before “settling down” to go on adventures filled with jellyfish museums and oceanside cruises.
In December 2015, on a day when Ms. Della Femina had planned a meeting in the Hamptons with contractors and a homeowner, Mr. Gliklich flew in from Florida, where he was working and living part time. He arrived on site with a ring tucked into a box of rainbow-colored bagels Ms. Della Femina had long wanted, all the way from the Bagel Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
“Working and living part time.” Yeah, okay. I’m sure he was just grinding away and having zero fun in warm, sunny Florida while she was huddled up in her New York City apartment. Can’t imagine he was ever at a bar in Miami on a Saturday with a killer tan and his shirt half-unbuttoned while drinking Mai Tais telling random Margot Robbie-looking girls about his world travels. Yeah, totally never happened.
He said, “I love you so much,” and opened the box. “Ms. Della Femina spotted the ring wedged between the bagels and said, “I love it, I love it, I love it.”
While I’ll never understand the rainbow bagel part, what I do know is that you know this ring is big enough that it’s difficult for her to keep upright on her finger.
Mr. Gliklich stood for a moment, then asked, “Is that a yes?”
No, dumbass. It’s a no. Of course, it’s a yes, dude. She’s been fawning over you since she was fifteen, but you were too busy swinging it all over the world to realize. Or you just knew it’d always be there waiting for you when you finally returned to New York City to settle down. One of the two.
Ms. Della Femina asked: When should we get married? He said: As soon as we can. Ms. Della Femina said she recalled thinking, “After 15 years, there’s a rush?”
My brain can’t wrap itself around why there’s a rush, but you know there’s a reason. And that reason is probably a girl with a Spanish accent in Florida who our boy here got a litttttttle too involved with.
Yet rush they did. They planned a November wedding in Palm Beach, but the Zika virus had spread to Florida. Refusing to change the date, they moved it to New York, taking only two months to plan and execute the wedding. And for a woman who at age 15 had her own clothing line, she could be forgiven for being unwilling to let just anyone design her wedding gown. Ms. Della Femina did it herself, in ivory Odessa stretch crepe with a plunging back.
I can just imagine the mother-of-the-bride freaking out about Zika. She probably thought it was the first time either of them had sex and she didn’t want her grandson to contract it. But we are talking about a dude who’s lived down there part time, so does it really matter…?
Around 225 guests were in attendance on Nov. 12 as the two were married by Mr. Hochman, who became a Universal Life minister for the occasion, with Ms. Davidson assisting, at Cedar Lake Studio, an event space in Chelsea. The after-party at the Top of the Standard, also known as the Boom Boom Room, stayed true to its name as music pounded 18 floors above the meatpacking district.
There are so many jokes about the author using “Boom Boom Room,” “pounded,” and “meatpacking district” in the same sentence that I want to make but just don’t have time for.
So I’ll just make this one – the music wasn’t the only thing pounding in The Boom Boom Room that night; they call it the meatpacking district for a reason.
In a quiet corner, the bride looked out at the city beyond the windows and said, “Everything has fallen into place.” Across the room, Mr. Gliklich, finally feeling at home in New York, stood within a circle of friends, grinned and raised his glass toward his bride. The city lights shimmered in the distance behind her, ready to embrace the couple.
Even the wildest of stallions are tamed at some point in their lives. Here’s to you, Ben. Here’s to you. .
[via New York Times]