The manifesto of manifesting your manifest-man

I enjoy looking at the New York Times Sunday wedding announcements.  I don’t read them all but glance through the names to see if there are any I recognize (less and less so as I get older), if there are any cute “how we met” stories, or it’s-horrible-but-I-can’t-look-away spectacles.  Yesterday was a spectacle day.

I didn’t really pay attention to it till I saw a write-up in Gawker.  Sometimes Gawker goes a little overboard with the hate and snarkiness, but they were definitely on the money with this one.  As I read the announcement, I cringed, then cringed some more:

When Jonathan Grubb first spotted Kestrin Pantera, she was dressed as a light-saber-wielding Jedi knight.

That’s just the first line.  It gets better.

Powerful, wise and dedicated to the “light side of the force” is how Ms. Pantera described the character she sought to embody at the 2006 Burning Man arts festival in Nevada.

Burning Man, ’nuff said.

Mr. Grubb. . .recalled watching with a cousin as the warrior set up camp. “I know you’re perfectly capable of setting up this tent by yourself, but we’re doing it for you,” he said.

Being manipulated from the start.

As they did, Ms. Pantera. . .imagined a glowing arrow pointing at Mr. Grubb’s head.

Because life is a quirky movie with special effects.

“This is him,” she recalled thinking as she mentally listed qualities she wanted in a mate — a list that she had drafted as part of the daily “personal manifesto” that she had been writing for years.

Um, daily “personal manifesto”?  I’m all for writing down one’s “intentions, motives, or views” but a manifesto is a PUBLIC declaration.  I mean, I’ll blab my head off about what I want and think, but I’m not going around calling it a manifesto like I’m Karl Marx.

Then the kicker:

“Everything pointed to us being a perfect match,” Mr. Grubb said. “Except one thing: my girlfriend was due to arrive.”

D’oh!  And then the article NAMES the girlfriend!  Double d’oh!  So. . .

At the festival, Mr. Grubb and Ms. Pantera developed a chaste friendship. Yet Mr. Grubb remembers the moment he knew Ms. Pantera was in his future. “Kestrin began playing Jimi Hendrix-style electric cello after revealing that she spoke German and Mandarin and read monetary policy reports for fun,” he said.

I’m high-class talented, see, cuz I play the cello, but I’m EDGY because it’s electric and I play Jimi Hendrix style, and oh yeah, I’m FIERCELY intelligent because I speak all these languages, AND I’m basically a biz dude in a hot girl’s body.  Isn’t that every guy’s dream?

BUT, then she finds out through an online profile he doesn’t want kids, which is like totally against her manifesto.

My manifesto-man wanted kids,” she said.

That’s right folks, she said it: her manifesto-man.

Then blah blah blah, he breaks up with his girlfriend, hooks up with Kestrin, and they kiss.  Harp players appear over their heads; doves fly out of their butts.  But what about the no kid pronouncement in his profile?

He had invented many [online profiles] “as tests for my work,” said Mr. Grubb, whose résumé dates to the start of the Internet boom.

Hmm, seems sketchy to me.  But that’s their  fight to have when Kestrin’s biological clock starts ticking.

Then he pops the big question:

“I know you’re perfectly capable of living this life on your own, but I want to live it with you.”

I know you’re a fully capable woman who doesn’t need a man –

That’s right! I don’t need a man! I’m quirky and wild and independent!  I read monetary reports for FUN!

Well, yes, that’s what I’m saying –


Yes, I totally agree.

I went to Burning Man!  I dressed as a Jedi Knight and NOT Princess Leia!  I don’t need a man!

You’re right, you’re right. Actually I can’t live my life on my own, although I’m a man.  I need you.

All right then.

(AND scene.)

So then they get hitched (not far from SF incidentally), and. . .

Because the bride hates to “kill” flowers, she carried a bouquet of tillandsia, an unusual, spiny gray-green bromeliad that feeds off air.

*Sigh.*  Just *sigh.*

Ms. Pantera, the former Jedi warrior, pledged in her wedding vows “to constantly generate a force field of awesome.”

And Mr. Grubb vowed to constantly generate a force field of telling her she’s awesome.

There at the wedding, they both burst into tears: the manifesto had been made manifest.

Oh no they didn’t! (Yes, I’m afraid they did.)

But it doesn’t end there:

Of her affection for the spiny tillandsia plants, which surrounded the guests and numbered in the thousands, the bride said, “They manifest life from thin air.”

Then the write-up mind-blowingly ends with a quote from the jilted girlfriend, who is supposedly still friends with them: “I want to be involved in their whatever, forever.”

I like to imagine she’s saying “whatever” with fingers like a W and a mean girl smirk.

Coming to a whimsical theater near you, Our Whatever Forever.


  1. OMG I thought you were joking until I clicked on the just…wow.

  2. I’m soooooooooooooooo glad you shared that. Best laugh I’ve had all week!

  3. Must have slipped past the editors! can’t believe it was actually published.

  4. Nice blow-by-blow. To Kestrin’s credit, the Times made up the part about the glowing arrow and the phrase “I shall not.” And I don’t think she hates killing flowers, it’s more that dead flowers that still look alive are kind of depressing. But the rest is pretty accurate.

    I generally hate on the other people in the NYT wedding section, usually because it’s another ivy league doctor marrying another ivy league lawyer, so no hard feelings on that front.

    Our life is sometimes like a parody/satire, but it’s fun enough that we stick with it. I’d say “you’d like us if you met us in real life” but a lot of people from New York really do seem to dislike me on a personal level, so that may be a no-go too.

    But I do think your blog is funny, so we’ve got that going.