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These New York Times Marriage Announcements are a fickle beast. For the last three weeks, they’ve run some legitimately beautiful stories that were both endearing and heart-wrenching.
But not today. Today, we got to get a glimpse into what it’s like to be loaded with an Ivy League education and all the money in the world at your fingertips, all while pretending like your life is so hard. You truly can’t make this stuff up, which is why we should just dive right in.
From Reality Show to Reality: A Bachelor Finds Love
In December 2010, Ames Brown was traveling home from Uzbekistan when he got a call from “The Bachelorette,” the reality TV show. Would he like to become one of the 25 bachelors who vie for the heart of a bachelorette, episode after episode, as she gradually and sometimes ruthlessly winnows them down?
I’m not sure what a dude named “Ames” was doing in Uzbekistan, but I guess we can already tell that this marriage announcement is about to be ripe with money and pretentiousness from the get-go.
The timing of the call was good. “I had no love life,” said Mr. Brown, a graduate of Yale who also has two master’s degrees from Columbia, one in business and one in strategic communications. Although Mr. Brown is so classically handsome he could be a model for a Ken doll, he did not excel at dating or flirting.
Yale grad with two master’s from Columbia? Uh, yeah, sign me up. We haven’t seen this type of pedigree since those hipster descendants from the von Trapp family tied the knot back in June. And don’t even get me started on the bullshit that’s being spewed about this guy not excelling at dating and flirting. You don’t apply to The Bachelorette if you’re a fucking doorknob.
“Shall we say, it’s not his style to be a playboy,” said Avik Roy, a friend from Yale. “He’s a bit shy and traditional and gentlemanly.”
A bit shy? Hate to break it to you Avik, but the last time I checked, introverts don’t apply to be on shows where the contestants literally get keys to something called “The Fantasy Suite” where they bump uglies with cameras rolling on the other side of the door. Don’t try to humanize Ames, bro.
Friends were shocked when he agreed to be on the show. “People think, ‘Wow, reality television is just one train wreck after another,’” said Mr. Brown, now 36 and the chief investment officer at Capital Counsel, an asset management firm in Manhattan. “I decided it was a risk worth taking and a great way to grow as a person.”
Cut the shit, Ames. You were looking for Hollywood lights just as much as the next guy. Your greatest accomplishment in life (you know, besides these degrees) was convincing your friends to act like you’re too good to go on The Bachelorette when we all know you either did a casting or made an audition tape (which I need to see at this point). Personal growth, my ass.
He appeared in Season 7, shown May through July in 2011. He survived for several episodes but was eventually rejected by Ashley Hebert, the bachelorette that season. He returned to New York City for his 15 minutes of fame, and embarrassment.
Yeah, I’m sure Ames was just cruising down Madison Avenue with people laughing at him. I feel so bad for a guy who has spent more on getting degrees than I’ll make in my entire lifetime. Pity had a party and no one RSVP’d “yes.”
“People would come up to me on the subway and say: ‘I can’t believe you wore red pants. No wonder she got rid of you,’” he said. “Or, ‘You know, you really shouldn’t cut your hair so short because that would hide your big forehead.’”
I mean, Ames, let me shoot you straight – if you’re trying to woo a girl, red pants probably aren’t the way to her heart. They scream, “I’m trying to be a Kennedy on vacation” but they also make you look like an Ivy League dickhead. Oh, wait.
As an escape, he signed up for a three-week National Outdoor Leadership School sailing expedition in Mexico in October 2012. “You just hold your head high and go sailing and hope the ocean has the answer,” he said.
Hope the ocean has the answer? Boo-fucking-hoo, Ames. No one (I repeat, no one) feels bad for a guy who got kicked off The Bachelorette, has three Ivy League degrees, and can just up and leave on a three-week sailing expedition. Just in that sentence alone, you’ve lived more of a life than the 99 percent. Pull yourself up by your handmade, thousand-dollar suspenders and get back to Wall Street where your WASPy ass belongs.
Allison Palm, now 26, also signed up for the trip. She had just graduated from Brown and wanted to do something out of the ordinary and out of her comfort zone. “I was a supernerd in high school,” she said. “I was this very strict engineer in college. I knew I was going to be an engineer in my career. I thought, ‘I’m so one-dimensional.’”
Only white people try to get out of their “comfort zone” by going sailing in Mexico.
And don’t convince me that Ames is shy when he’s now dating a chick ten years younger than him. I respect the fact that he got dating a younger women out of the way rather than doing what everyone else in his tax bracket does – divorce their first wife and then marry someone ten years younger.
When Ms. Palm met Mr. Brown, she thought he seemed overly formal, with his unwrinkled clothes and impeccable manners. “He was so perfect,” she said. “I thought, ‘Come on, we’re just sailing!’”
Hate to break it to you, Allison, but you don’t get numerous master’s degrees if you’re chillin’ the most and lettin’ loose all the time. This is the type of guy that shows up to Thanksgiving football games wearing a rolled up button-down shirt and khakis.
She soon changed her mind about him. “He was so enthusiastic about all the hard things we were doing, like getting in the cold water to do safety drills,” she said. At one point, a tropical storm forced the group to camp out for days on a cactus-covered island. “He was telling stories and laughing,” Ms. Palm said. “He is such a blast, so much fun.”
You could put me on a remote island during a three-week sail with pretty much anyone of the opposite sex and I’d walk away in love with them. It’s like how everyone on The Bachelor franchise thinks they’re in love. Like, duh, the entire fucking scenario is a damn honeymoon. Of course you think everything’s great and you’re in love.
The group traveled in a flotilla, four people to each sailboat, and he always maneuvered to be on her boat. “We were definitely the two most nerdy people on the trip,” he said. “She may even take the cake in this regard. When she was the navigator, my God, copious documentation of all aspects of the trip.”
This reminds me of when Chad told JoJo that she was naggy, except these people come from a long line of prepsters and have IQs that make Chad and JoJo’s look like peanuts.
Each sensed they may become a couple one day, yet neither was in a rush. “We absolutely loved spending time together and wanted to see how this would unfold,” he said. “There was no need to apply pressure or cadence.”
And they were probably both thinking, “Well, I’m rich enough to either travel or move to wherever the other is, so we’re fine with this whole Mexico thing fizzles out.” They’re probably already mentally naming their kids Muffy and Trip and plotting how they’ll decorate their home in their future spread in Town & Country.
After the trip ended, she returned to her hometown, Fayetteville, N.Y., and he went to his apartment in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where a river raft hung from the ceiling and the bookshelves were filled with Lonely Planet travel guides. Mr. Brown somehow manages to sustain a career in finance and regularly take off on long, meticulously planned, off-the-grid adventures.
You know this dude is rich because he has enough room in his Williamsburg apartment for a fucking river raft to hang. And get out of my face with how Ames “somehow manages to sustain a career in finance” to “regularly take off long, meticulously planned, off-the-grid adventures.” If he doesn’t have a corner office on the floor below his dad, then his dad definitely set him up with whatever learn-as-you-go cushy finance gig that Ames is currently thriving in. One of the most laughable quotes in Insufferable Marriage Announcement history, which is saying a lot.
Over the next few years, he and Ms. Palm went on many together. Weeks after the sailing trip ended, they climbed Mount Miyanoura in Japan. Back in New York, they explored the East River by raft (“Ames paddling, me terrified,” Ms. Palm said); discovered they both love to spend whole days coding on the computer; and had their first kiss in Washington Square Park.
Real strapped for cash, these two. Just can’t seem to figure out how he manages to balance his high-stress career with all this traveling they do! It’s like they come from money or something! Wait a second…
Months later, they went snow camping in the Dolomites in Italy. They rarely discussed their relationship (and still don’t talk about it much). “It wasn’t something we had to say,” she said. “We just had a feeling: ‘This is working. This is great.’”
I’m literally laughing out loud as I type this, because within the last five paragraphs, these two have gone from sailing in Mexico to climbing in Japan to camping on a fucking mountain in Italy. All the while, the author of this column is trying to pretend like these two Carmen Sandiegos don’t have multiple trust funds that are funding their gallivanting lifestyles. Preposterous.
Friends say her particular amalgam of qualities match his. “She’s supersmart, hyperanalytical, diligent and highly adventurous at the same time,” Mr. Roy said. “It’s hard to find those qualities simultaneously.”
It’s not hard to find those qualities simultaneously, Ames. You know what happens when a bunch of east coast WASPs mate with each other for generations? You breed miniature Einsteins who have all the disposable income in the world. Pretending that this isn’t the case isn’t just ignorant, it’s downright irresponsible.
In 2013, still yearning for a more creative path, Ms. Palm enrolled in Alma, a culinary school in Italy. “I wondered if Ames and I would climb mountains together again or if living an ocean apart would end a beautiful story,” she said. They left their relationship open-ended. Maybe they would be a couple when she got back, maybe not.
Wait. Let me get this straight.
She’s just taking her engineering degree from Brown and throwing it in the garbage so she can take cooking lessons in Italy? If that’s not white privilege, I’m not sure what is.
As part of the program, she worked in the kitchen at Il Marin restaurant in Genoa. One day, while peeling shrimp there, she was shocked to spot Mr. Brown sitting alone in the dining room. “The flood of adrenaline was so intense,” she said. She was so nervous that she ran into the walk-in refrigerator to calm down. “Ames really understands the art of surprise,” she said.
These two motherfuckers act like they’re characters in the preppier version of The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I didn’t even think was possible. When I surprise my girlfriend, it’s with a $35 bouquet of flowers that I regret buying after they die four days later. Meanwhile, this Ames dude is flying around the world to watch the apple of his eye peel shrimp at a Michelin-rated restaurant.
He said: “I didn’t like the idea of Skyping or texting, and she felt the same way, so we didn’t do any of that. We wrote some letters, but I thought the most romantic message would be myself.”
I want to live in a world where my options to talk to my long-distance girlfriend are A.) Text, B.) FaceTime, or C.) Fly to fucking Italy. Eh, I didn’t feel like texting today so I hopped on AmEx, booked a flight with my black card, and headed to Italia to see Allison. But hey, I’ll have access to email so anyone at my financial firm can contact me with any questions they may have while I’m gone. Come on.
Back in New York in the fall of 2014, she began a graduate program in operations research at Columbia and moved into Mr. Brown’s apartment. Living together was far easier than their other adventures; it didn’t feel like an adjustment at all. “The only difference was we had to share a closet,” she said.
Everyone knows that living with your significant other is easier than traveling with your significant other. And I’m sure sharing a 500-square foot walk-in closet was real tough, Allison. Did that have a boat hanging in it too?
On Christmas morning 2015, he surprised her once again, this time while she was visiting her family in Fayetteville. Tipped off by Ms. Palm’s father, Bram Palm, Mr. Brown learned she would be picking up a prescription at the Rite Aid in nearby Syracuse. He stood by the prescription counter, waiting for her.
Please propose on Christmas while wearing a cowl neck sweater. Please propose on Christmas while wearing a cowl neck sweater. Please propose on Christmas while wearing a cowl neck sweater. Only assholes propose on Christmas while wearing cowl neck sweaters.
“The first thing I said was, ‘What are you doing here?’” she said. “He said, “I’m here to propose to you.’”
Ugh, yes, the whitest couple in the world just got even whiter.
His proposal reflected their philosophy about traveling, and life in general. “One part of our relationship is this idea that there is beauty in unexpected places,” she said. “Really special things don’t have to happen on top of mountains. They can happen in a pharmacy.”
I’m surprised she accepted the ring in a pharmacy, given the circumstances. She probably expected him to do it atop the Eiffel Tower or while they foraged through the Titanic in a fucking submarine.
Also, really special things don’t have to cost a lot. “I didn’t want the expensive proposal on a faraway island,” he said.
Yes, you did, Allison. Don’t piss down my boot and tell me it’s rain.
On July 30, they were married at the Church of the Heavenly Rest on the Upper East Side, in a 10 a.m. ceremony officiated by the Rev. Matthew Heyd, an Episcopal priest. “We loved the idea of an old-fashioned morning wedding,” Ms. Palm said.
No, your parents loved the idea of an old-fashioned wedding. You probably wanted to get married at George and Amal Clooney’s place on Lake Como.
Mr. Brown wore gray slacks and a double-breasted navy blazer, while Ms. Palm chose a Dolce & Gabbana three-quarter-length flowery dress. If she had stood in a lineup with her bridesmaids, a stranger may not have been able to pick her out as the bride. “She was pretty dead set on not getting a typical wedding dress,” said Katie Leaird, a bridesmaid. “It’s not her, it’s not fun.”
Pretty dead set on not having a typical wedding dress, yet she went with Dolce & fuckin’ Gabbana? That’s like me saying I don’t want to drive your typical sports car, so I bought a Lotus instead.
Halfway through the reception at the James Burden Mansion nearby, the couple disappeared to change into their going-away outfits, another old-fashioned tradition. They reappeared wearing hiking clothes, boots, backpacks and scarves that were voluminous enough to double as towels or blankets if necessary. After waving goodbye to their 211 guests, they headed out to the airport and took off for their honeymoon: a month of trekking in Nepal.
And that, my friends, is the icing on the proverbial cake. Trekking in motherfucking Nepal. Not sure how they fit it in between his finance career and her blossoming chef position, let alone how they even afforded it. Oh, wait. .
[via The New York Times]