WHY didn’t he call?Elaine Griffin thought that she and Michael McGarry had really hit it off on their first date. There seemed to be physical and emotional attraction, as well as a shared affection for the author James Agee.Everything had been great except for that black silk shirt he was wearing. To Ms. Griffin, an interior designer who lives and works in Harlem, it looked like something guys wore when “Miami Vice” was popular. She hated it and wasn’t shy in telling him.
Still, she was disappointed when he left right after that on a sailing trip, and didn’t call.
Over the two weeks that followed she had plenty of time to dissect the situation with her friends. They told her to forget about the shirt. And Ms. Griffin, 44, who comes from an old Georgia family, tried to tell herself that none of it mattered anyway.
It turned out that Mr. McGarry, 47, who hails from Boston and is a psychotherapist in Manhattan, had been quite taken with Ms. Griffin, whom he had initially met online. He said she seemed to present herself “as a charming, vivacious powerhouse — but ultimately, there’s a kindness, a sweet vulnerability within her.”
On their second date she led him to the entrance to Morningside Park, where they kissed for the first time — “electrifying, one of those kisses where you get vertigo,” she said.
So began an intense, high-speed courtship that ended in marriage less than five months later. That meant rapid shifts and adjustments, if not outright transformations, for both.“I am Miss Instant Decision,” Ms. Griffin said. “I’m always saying, ‘O.K., this is the plan, this is what we’re going to do next.’ And Michael always says, ‘Do I have a voice?’ ”
Her friends watched as she turned from a commitment-phobic princess to a devoted
companion who made chicken for him in her oven, which until then served as shoe storage.
Mr. McGarry, who is as down-to-earth as she is glamorous, underwent a drastic shift in wardrobe after she took his measurements, he gave her his credit card and she went shopping.
“I needed it,” he admitted. “Now I’m paying more attention to details.” (He’s given the black shirt away.)
“I don’t just marry anyone who asks,” the pastor said. He asked them “to show some kind of evidence that they had given serious, prayerful thought to this relationship,” he said, and they agreed to several strenuous counseling sessions, with each required to write plans for the next five years and 25 years of their lives.But for years 6 through 24, they're just gonna "wing it."
The couple wed on Jan. 1 at the 24th Street Loft in Chelsea. Tiny white candles lined the walls, and 14 guests gathered along with a makeup artist, a hair stylist, waiters and photographers.
After the couple exchanged vows, they kissed and hugged with great tenderness, and it looked for a heartbeat as if Ms. Griffin might come completely undone. But she dabbed at an eye, cried out for a touchup and had someone turn up Grace Jones on the MP3 player.
And so ends another chapter of why I have job security as a family law attorney. I wish Elaine and Michael well, but when it becomes critical in your wedding announcement to make sure people know you had a stylist and make-up artist at the ceremony, I think the focus of the bride was less on "we" and more on "me."
And that never bodes well.