Nasty, Brutish & Short

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This week, in "Up Against the Wall"

March 5, 2007 05:36 PM

We have Gayle Greenberg and Matthew Slonim.  She's an Assistant V.P. for Marketing at L'Oreal Paris in New York.  He's the son of a lawyer "who owns a law firm in New York bearing his name."  Naturally, they made the Vows column of The Times, and landed this week's coveted big write-up.

Ms. Greenberg and Mr. Slonim met in July 2003, and within two years they had begun having what Ms. Greenberg described as “heated discussions” about how and when he would propose to her. “He told me, ‘I will hand you a ring over dinner,’ and I said, ‘You have to say nice stuff, too. You can’t just hand me a ring,’ ” she said, recalling her frustration with the pace of the relationship. “He acted like he didn’t understand the process.”

Well you know what?  He still doesn't understand the process.  Check out his ridiculous "Quest for the Holy Gayle" of a marriage proposal:

When Ms. Greenberg woke up on April 29 last year, she found an envelope, entitled “The Quest for Yes,” tucked into her cellphone.

The note instructed her to pack a bag, take a glass of orange juice to her doorman and ask him for the mail.

Tiresome and annoying, and this is only Act I.  Here's Act II:

The mail revealed another clue: Go for a jog to the park bench in Central Park that had been donated by his parents. At the bench was a clue that sent her back home “to the place where George Foreman rests his head.”

George Foreman grills are not romantic or mysterious, and neither is the cringe-inducing demand that she jog in Central Park until she finds the bench that was donated by his parents.  But anyway,

Behind a George Foreman grill was a bag containing her favorite cupcakes and another note. Next, she was directed to shower, dress and go down to the street where a driver waited to take her to “a major destination named after a dead president.”

Would any sane person not be completely annoyed at this point?  Girl must be desperate to get married.  (Yep, just confirmed it from the Vow's Column itself.  Gayle's 34).

On the way to Kennedy Airport, Mr. Slonim had instructed her to look inside the travel backgammon set she had been told to pack. It contained a confirmation number for a Delta Airlines flight.

Get it?  Kennedy Airport.  It's a major destination and he's a dead President.  It's so clever!

“The driver said, ‘Where are you going, ma’am?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know,’ ” Ms. Greenberg said. She guessed it was a domestic flight and asked the driver to drop her at the terminal.

I can only imagine how Mrs. NBS would have reacted if she'd been told to pack for an unknown destination with no prior notice.  And had to jog through Central Park first, looking for clues.  Also, I love that "she guessed it was a domestic flight" line.  Aren't they all, Gayle?  Aren't they all?

It wasn’t until she put the number into the ticket dispenser that she learned that the plane was headed to Charlotte, N.C. Once there, Ms. Greenberg was picked up by a driver who took her to the assisted-living home where her 94-year-old grandfather, Ted Greenberg, lives.

Gayle, that retching sensation is not air sickness.  In fact, we're all experiencing it.  Surely the whole "hand the ring over during dinner" idea is looking pretty good right now?

“I thought I had been sent to visit my grandfather and then get another clue,” she said.

When she walked in, she found her grandfather with Mr. Slonim, who had arrived a few hours earlier to chat with him.

“It was very important to her that I meet her grandfather, but I wanted to wait until I was ready to propose,” Mr. Slonim said, adding, “I dropped to one knee and said, ‘Which one of you am I proposing to?’ ”

(1) That doesn't even make sense; and (2) Wouldn't you be totally embarrassed to have this schlock published in The New York Times?

Gayle, it seems, is not:

“All the effort and work that went into the planning gave me the most wonderful, secure feeling,” she said, adding, “it made me fall even more deeply in love with Matt. I was amazed he could pull it all together.”

We're amazed too, Gayle.  He managed to put together a bunch of ridiculous clues, buy you some cupcakes and book a plane ticket to North Carolina.  He's a keeper.

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