Entertainment

Is this the worst New York Times ‘Vows’ column ever written?

Photo of Taylor Bigler
Taylor Bigler
Entertainment Editor

Over the weekend, the New York Times published the worst “Vows” column ever written in the history of the Times or the history of history. “Found, a Soul Mate” is a marriage story about two insufferable yuppie-hippies who fell in love over yoga. It was actually published in the one-time paper of record.

These two are your average, yoga-loving Brooklynites, except for that the woman accidentally killed a little girl this one time, a plot point that is explained in just two throwaway sentences that serve to explain her calm presence: “On Aug. 17, 2008, Ms. Halweil was driving on Montauk Highway when a 5-year-old girl rode a red toy wagon down a steep driveway and shot out onto the road in front of Ms. Halweil’s car. When she recounts the accident (the child died and Ms. Halweil was not charged) you can really see her calm, philosophical and open demeanor.”

The column is nearly 2,000 words, but seems like 20,000. And just when you think the author cannot possibly continue to write about the healing power of Ashtanga and womb-colored candles, IT GOES ON FOR A WHOLE OTHER PAGE.

Here are the nine worst/best lines from the column, which — as far as we know — is not a joke.

  • “Ms. Halweil, 36, grew up in New York in a tightknit family of four who loved to spend weekends together foraging for elderberries in Central Park”
  • “In 2003, while living in a loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he started biking across the Williamsburg Bridge every morning to practice Ashtanga yoga with Eddie Stern, a well-known teacher in SoHo.”
  • “He painted the walls dark red, installed almost-black wood floors and put yellow candles everywhere. ‘It was like a womb,’ he said. ‘It took you somewhere else.’”
  • “…Mr. De Rosa, who in a single conversation might discuss Hindu deities, the connection between the knees and the ego, an energy healer he admires, Indian spices, juice cleanses and his ideas about love…”
  • “Their daughter, Neelu, was born at home on June 15, 2011, shortly after Ms. Halweil drank a concoction of castor oil, pineapple juice, vodka and baking soda prescribed by her midwife to speed contractions.”
  • “As 150 guests looked on and bamboo flute music played, Ms. Halweil appeared wearing a backless dress designed by Nili Lotan on a lawn decorated with modern sculptures including an enormous one by Urs Fischer of a yellow teddy bear.”
  • “The bride described the color of her dress as ‘pigeon-blood red.’ The groom was the one who wore white. He had on a Nehru-style suit the shade of coconut milk, lined with jewels around the lapels and neck.”
  • “Mr. Halsband, who was among the guests, commented, ‘It was just super-solid and super-honest.’”
  • “[The officiator] shared several pieces of advice about marriage that he had collected beforehand from family members and friends: think, laugh and love as often as possible; save money; check each other for ticks nightly to prevent Lyme disease.”

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