Last weekend I felt the first hint of spring as I watched a bride-to-be and her maid of honor scoping out earrings. As they held them up to their ears, they talked about whether the antique style would match the lace embroidered bodice the gown or whether to keep it simple and wear a small pendant instead. It’s wedding season. It’s the time of year when my email inbox, fills up with countless press releases each day about everything from brand new cuts and colors in diamonds to weather stacking or wide is the new trend in bands. As a single woman living in Manhattan, who has never been married, I am happy to see a beautiful new opaque rose cut center stone-which by the way is just as perfect for my middle finger as it is for someone’s ring finger-but watching all the happy couples around, I sill get a pang of yearning, wondering if it will ever happen for me.
So it was inspiring, as a jewelry editor continually in search of a band of gold to read the comic novel based on a guy who is “always the wedding columnist and never the groom.” Devan Sipher’s new novel The Wedding Beat (NAL/Penguin) is loosely based on his real life experience as the Vows wedding reporter for The New York Times. Sipher nails the guy’s perspective on romance with wit, warmth and insight. I was completely charmed by Sipher’s protagonist Gavin Greene’s plight to date in the not always ‘fair’ city of New York and find the right woman for himself, while interviewing and delving deeply into the relationships of the couples he is writing about for the newspaper he works.
Reading the book in one night, I was in awe by the deft way Sipher infused his characters and the story-with heart, humor, and offered a perceptive handle on what it’s like to be the single person–not just in a city, an event or a room full of doubles– but deep in a career that is all about couples. Some of my favorite parts of the book include Gavin’s date with a soap opera actress, who he takes to the famous NYC Nobu restaurant and finds out her time with him has helped her with her decision to move in the very next day with her boyfriend. Sipher transports me back to my awkward adolescent years when he writes about Gavin’s twelve year-old self being embarrassed on a bus after the girl got up the nerve to call recorded a conversation of him trying to ask her out. His online dating scenarios are hysterical and so true. The entire novel had me feeling like I was reading the fictional character of a male version of …well…me.
Gavin goes through all the development stages of being a certain age and alone, falling head over heels at chance meetings and suffering missed opportunities until he goes through finding out what he thought he wanted, realizing what he desires now; who he really is and who he is meant to be with.
The Wedding Beat, which hits bookstores and on-line booksellers today, April 3, 2012 is a must read for anyone who wants to laugh, remember their own relationships, root for the guy to get the girl and for romance to win out in the end.
With that said, I am still in search of the left hand ring but for all of you girls out there who have found the ‘right’ man–I’ve been able scour the antique fairs and markets, showrooms and shops and have come up with some alternative engagement and wedding styles whether your perfect match is more traditional, a little flawed and wild or tender and tough. Check out these designers: Megan Thorne, Cathy Waterman, Dawes Designs, and Jessica Fields.