Well, this is a first. Rather than making me roll my eyes and gag, one of the wedding announcements in this weekend’s New York Times not only inspired me, it actually delighted me. Instead of the usual pedigree of good fortune, this announcement read more like a quirky rom-com starring a Lucille Ball look-alike. Besides an impossibly sweet girl-meets-boy story, the marriage of 46-year-old Dixie Feldman to 48-year-old Jeff Laite is a hopeful tale for anyone who’s ever worried that love and marriage is only for the conventional.
A first marriage for both, theirs will be non-traditional not only because they’re past the age of needing new cookware from a gift registry, but because they plan to “maintain separate residences and spend weekends together” (though Dixie herself told me on Twitter “he usually sleeps over four nights a week.”). Just last weekend I was having brunch with some girlfriends and we shared fantasies of having similar arrangements in marriage one day. While I really enjoy living with my husband-to-be and building a home together that’s “ours” and not just “mine or “his,” I daydream of having a second home — a cottage in Vermont or a small Condo in Chicago, maybe — where each of us can go for a weekend or a week or a month and recharge alone. So the union of Dixie and Jeff is a nice reminder that marriage can be whatever you want it to be, look however you want it to look, and often happen when you least expect it.