Sunday, December 19, 2010


The Most Disgusting Story Of The Year...

...coming in during the figurative last moments of, courtesy of The New York Times' "Vows" section:

This truly is one of the most repugnant "slice of life" stories I've read in years.   "Vows," for those aren't aware is Times section that does a snapshot of some interesting couple (straight, gay, whatever) committing their lives together (wedding, civil union, whatever).  Though I don't regularly read the section, I know that they've certainly done features on couples who are on their second such ceremony. Not surprising in this day and age. 

But, I'm pretty sure there's never been quite a duo like Carol Ann Riddell and John Partilla:

Ms. Riddell was a reporter and anchor on WNBC television in New York and a mother of two. A glamorous, petite woman with a strong handshake and stronger opinions, she is not the type to be easily dazzled, yet she was struck by Mr. Partilla’s exuberance.
“He bounds into a room,” said Ms. Riddell, who was 40 when they met. “He doesn’t walk in, he explodes in.”
Mr. Partilla, then a 42-year-old triathlete and a president of media sales at Time Warner, recognized a kindred dynamo. “She’s such a force,” he said. “She rocks back and forth on her feet as if she can’t contain her energy as she’s talking to you.”
The connection was immediate, but platonic. In fact, as they became friends so did their spouses. There were dinners, Christmas parties and even family vacations together.
So Ms. Riddell was surprised to find herself eagerly looking for Mr. Partilla at school events — and missing him when he wasn’t there. “I didn’t admit to anyone how I felt,” she said. “To even think about it was disruptive and disloyal.”


But, not, apparently, for too long:

“I’ve fallen in love with you,” he recalled saying to her. She jumped up, knocking a glass of beer into his lap, and rushed out of the bar. Five minutes later, he said, she returned and told him, “I feel exactly the same way.” Then she left again.
As Mr. Partilla saw it, their options were either to act on their feelings and break up their marriages or to deny their feelings and live dishonestly. “Pain or more pain,” was how he summarized it.
“The part that’s hard for people to believe is we didn’t have an affair,” Ms. Riddell said. “I didn’t want to sneak around and sleep with him on the side. I wanted to get up in the morning and read the paper with him.”
With that goal in mind, they told their spouses. “I did a terrible thing as honorably as I could,” said Mr. Partilla, who moved out of his home, reluctantly leaving his three children. But he returned only days later. Then he boomeranged back and forth for six months.


But they managed to get through it all:

All they had were their feelings, which Ms. Riddell described as “unconditional and all-encompassing.”
“I came to realize it wasn’t a punishment, it was a gift,” she said. “But I had to earn it. Were we brave enough to hold hands and jump?”
They did jump. Both officially separated from their spouses by late 2008, though they waited until July 2009 before moving in together.
“I didn’t believe in the word soul mate before, but now I do,” said Mr. Partilla, who is 46 and in January is to become a chief operating officer of Dentsu, a Japanese advertising agency.
They finalized their divorces this year. “I will always feel terribly about the pain I caused my ex-husband,” said Ms. Riddell, 44 and working freelance. “It was not what I ever would have wished on him.” Or on her children.
“My kids are going to look at me and know that I am flawed and not perfect, but also deeply in love,” she said. “We’re going to have a big, noisy, rich life, with more love and more people in it.”
On Nov. 15, the couple were legally wed at the Marriage Bureau in New York by Blanca Martinez of the City Clerk’s office.
Then on Dec. 11, Ms. Riddell donned a Nicole Miller strapless gown for a small ceremony in the presidential suite of the Mandarin Oriental New York hotel. As if on cue, the hotel room phone rang as she began to recite her vows.

One's got to hope and pray that karma is a bitch. 

This "deeply in love" couple has put their respective spouses through hell during this process, upended their kids lives in ways that will inevitably leave scars (regardless of how The Times suggests they are spinning in happiness). To add insult to injury, their relationship becomes official in "a small ceremony in the presidential suite of the Mandarin Oriental New York hotel." "Small ceremony"? "presidential suite" -- in an establishment that calls itself "the most breathtaking luxury hotel in New York"? And all of this -- the history of their mutual adultery and how they got to resolve their "feelings" gets celebrated in New York's official "paper of record" -- in the "Vows" section yet!!

How nice that respectable placement must be for their ex-spouses!!   

This "deeply in love" couple are the poster children for why much of America sees New York as the nation's narcissistic and self-centered capital - why many of the international "they" hate "us" (i.e., the U.S.).

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