The Sexist

The Gift of Creepiness, On Your Wedding Day

Creepiest wedding gift in human history? You decide:

The present I humbly send her today is this column; this public note, this irrevocable display of affection and support and gratitude; this worldly absolution from any guilt or sadness she felt between the time she said no to me and the time she said yes to him. No one ought to have to carry that with them into a marriage. I showered her with as much love as I could muster when we were together. I still love her and always will. So I am only too happy to offer my toast to her now, one more time, before she takes her vows.

Politics Daily's Andrew Cohen is obviously in a pretty weird place in his life right now. And he has decided to share it with us all! So let us count the backhanded compliments Cohen delivers, as "the great love of my life marries today and I am not the groom" [Thanks to Date Lab for the tip]:

* Crazy love: "not enough" or too much? And am I to blame for my own unhappiness, or are you? Oh, it's probably me:

I had my chance, a few years ago, but did not realize until too late how fleeting my moment with her was meant to be. Whether it was my fault or hers, and, let's face it, it was probably mine, I will wonder always about the life I might have had with the most loving and loveable woman I have ever known. Sometimes, I finally now understand, love, even crazy love, is not enough. Sometimes, as the romance novelists know, timing is everything.

* Hope you made the right choice!!!:

But today is not a day for remorse. It is not a day for lost causes. Today is a day for celebration. The woman I once promised to keep happy is happy. She tells me she is marrying a wonderful man, with a good heart, whom she believes I would have liked had we met in different circumstances. She lives where she wants to live. She has selected her life's path. All that is left for me to do is to wish her well and to hope that she has made the right choice; that she continues to find in him what she did not find in me. And I am sure he considers himself today the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.

* Did I mention the son you left still talks about you?:

I want to thank her for being so delightful with my son, who talks about her still.

* At least my dead dad thinks we're still together:

Until almost literally his dying day, my dad would ask me about her. Near the end, almost exactly two years ago, I did not have the heart to tell him that we had broken up. It gives me peace figuring that he died thinking she'd be in my life when he was gone.

* Even though you're gone, you helped me discover that I could find happiness again. By impregnating you:

Before I met her, as a single father, I never would have considered having another child. Although it took more time than it should have, I came to realize through her love and devotion that there would be nothing more I would rather do in the world than have a child with her. How many poor souls go their whole lives without the heart-string pull of such emotions?

* Thanks for inspiring me to resent most other women in this city:

I want to thank her for being such an inspiration. She did not give in or sell out or become one of those poor women of a certain age in New York who have put their careers ahead of their lives. When we met, she was living in New York but was not of New York; transplanted from the West Coast, she had not allowed herself to be seduced entirely by the City's charms. She took from Manhattan, like so many other beautiful women do, but she never gave to it her heart and soul. She was always rooted even among the rootless of her age and time. She knew she would one day leave the City, and she did, on her own terms. I admire her for that. I respect her for that. And I love her for it.

* Our imaginary wedding doesn't make my love for you any less real:

It wasn't too long after we met that I began imagining what our wedding day would be like. My second, her first, I nonetheless pictured her not taking it too seriously, laughing off the little crises that always pop up. I pictured her stunning in her dress and with that smile that would melt me. I pictured her having a vodka and soda to ease her nerves. I pictured us laughing a lot. I pictured myself at the end of the aisle. It was not to be. I've known that for years. But that doesn't make the love any less real.

So . . . was he invited to the real wedding?

  • PD

    Listen, love can be harsh. I know that. I understand where these feelings are coming from. This was probably therapeutic for Mr. Cohen, airing a passive-aggressive paean to his former lover out in public for everyone to see and share and feel.

    But that doesn't change the fact that I need to take a shower now. In the dark. So he can't watch me with his eyes.

  • Ryan

    Ohh nooooo!

    "She tells me she is marrying a wonderful man [but of course I only have her opinion to go on, so maybe he's not a wonderful man? Who knows? But if she says so, I'm sure he's a wonderful man. Because I love her.]"

    "I am sure he considers himself today the luckiest man on the face of the Earth. [Absolutely sure. Because that's what I would consider MYSELF to be in this situation. But what if he DOESN'T consider himself to be the luckiest man on the face of the earth? That would mean he doesn't deserve her! (Like I do.)]"

  • http://birthdaybreadhorse.wordpress.com Jess

    THIS WAS NOT ON MY REGISTRY

  • http://www.twitter.com/norareed Nora

    I apologize for the flag on Jess' comment, if it went through-- I was trying to flag it as "awesome" but apparently that is not a feature on this blog.

    IT IS AWESOME.

  • http://www.chicagoreader.com/TheBlog/archives/chicagoland/ whet moser

    "She tells me she is marrying a wonderful man, with a good heart, whom she believes I would have liked had we met in different circumstances."

    I'm a connoisseur of passive aggression, so I think I can state with some confidence: that right there is a masterwork. I challenge you to a duel! Well, not so much a duel as I will write something weird about you!

    "She did not give in or sell out or become one of those poor women of a certain age in New York who have put their careers ahead of their lives."

    OK, he's an asshole.

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  • http://baltimoregal.blogspot.com/ baltimoregal

    Wow, that poor woman. And that poor guy!
    Cohen should have written that column, then BURNED IT.

  • ohboyohboy

    Where were his editors?! Editors: You have the power to stop this kind of self-destructive catharsis-by-column.

  • SJL

    Like PD, I too can understand where this guy's feelings come from. I can even empathize to a certain degree. It's not unusual to have "the one that got away" or "it could have been/I would have liked it to be me" feelings and daydreams when news of an ex comes to light. But if we really do still have love and respect for that person, we keep our feelings to ourselves, and let them pass, so as not to selfishly interfere with or impose on our ex's life.

    Not to mention having respect for yourself. This guy's essay seems rather pathetic.

  • Elise

    Thank you for that, Jess. I almost snorted Diet Dr. Pepper all over my computer, but it really made my day. This column is just . . . well, as I read it, I imagined my old boyfriends saying this to me, and I have to admit that about two sentences in, I would have decked him (if my S.O. hadn't already done it). This is just too creepy, passive-aggressive, and wrong.

    Actually, I wonder if Cohen won't be getting a (much-deserved) little visit from the bridegroom or the bride.

  • http://www.williamkwolfrum.com/ William K. Wolfrum

    Am I the only one who noticed that he dimly highlighted the word "poison"?

    http://www.williamkwolfrum.com/2010/07/27/politics-daily-must-fire-andrew-cohen/

  • Marty

    Honestly my favorite part is this: "...this worldly absolution from any guilt or sadness she felt between the time she said no to me and the time she said yes to him. No one ought to have to carry that with them into a marriage."

    Because, of course, she is wracked with unfathomable guilt over their break-up on her wedding day. Thank god he provided his blessing, or else she clearly would have spent her entire marriage to this other man crying herself to sleep over Andrew Cohen's broken, creepy heart.

  • SJL
  • http://birthdaybreadhorse.wordpress.com Jess

    I was worried the rebuttal would softpedal, but it is in fact hilarious: "A kinder colleague than I suggested that his column was the equivalent of Dustin Hoffman, in 'The Graduate,' running into the church to yell, 'Elaine!' I humbly submit that his wedding day appreciation is in fact the equivalent of Andrew Cohen running into the church and yelling, 'Andrew!'"

  • maddie

    Good grief. Congrats to that lady on not marrying a man who clearly only saw her as his own personal manic pixie dream girl. That column's awe-inspiring self-centeredness literally gave me shivers. All we know about her as an actual real person (rather than Cohen's oh-so-romantic lost love) is that she is "loving" and "loveable." Yikes.

  • K

    I would like to humbly submit, WTF is up with the commenters on the column itself? Almost all female-named and filled with solicitous "aww, how sweet!" remarks. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!?!?!

  • K

    Okay, I'ma go all paranoid now... the comments I refer too, the only ones until a few people from the real world chose to weigh in with actual opinions, all seem eerily... similar.

    Lots of "!"
    Two separate usage of the word "gem" in two separate comments from two separate "people"
    use of "...", again twice in different comments

    Internet hive mind? Or is someone just pathetic *enough* to comment on how "beautifully written" their own wank-tastic article is? Things to ponder...

  • Charlie

    Well, I checked out the column (but couldn't bring myself to read the whole thing again carefully) and didn't see the answer to whether he had an invitation to the wedding. I assume the restraining order is still in effect.

    And K, the comments are moderated. And you have to have an AOL screen name or AIM ID to signup for the site (what century is Politics Today living in?) So I would assume the people who have more incisive things to say than Andrew Cohen cares to publish have been blocked.

  • ruiqiu

    @Charlie,
    It's probably not even the moderation. After reading that narcissistic whine "column", I can only assume all those comments were written in self-praise by Andrew Cohen himself.

  • bellacoker

    "Blame it all on my roots. I showed up in boots and ruined your black tie affair..."

  • Corbin

    Seriously, if I got something like that I might start looking under my car for explosives. Anyone who doesn't think that was...off...may well be unbalanced themselves...

  • http://birthdaybreadhorse.wordpress.com Jess
  • Mike

    Wow, I'm _totally_ doing it wrong. Where do I find much younger women who date wrecks? If this guy can land one, why can't I--and I'm not even hopelessly obsessed with myself!* Maybe my standards are just too high (sigh). Oh, and thumbs down to all the sock puppet** replies. Please note, this is not a personal attack on the writer. It's more of a...lament, a personal lament, that I too have been unlucky in love; or rather, in not finding the right person to shower with my own brand of unforgettable devotion. No, really.

    * "Dear Diary, today, yet again, roughly half of the world's population failed to notice how utterly sensitively awesome I am, so I watched "Steel Magnolias" again with my son, who appreciates what a loving person I am. Oh, btw, all my dark clothing is in the laundry again! :-( !"
    ** Google it.

  • http://birthdaybreadhorse.wordpress.com Jess

    ** Google it.

    Deal with IT!

  • Jen

    The lady in question got away with her life. #canwesayeaxemurdererinthemaking?

  • Brimstone

    weird that this ran around the same time as this (satirical) article in Cracked

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/a-guide-to-photography-at-your-ex-girlfriends-wedding/

  • Leah

    I feel this guys pain. But sometimes, when we sepperate from someone we forget about all the bad things that sepperated us to begin with.

  • HB

    What a dipshit.

  • Frank

    Thanks for the link, Brimstone, the article in Cracked is a hoot.

  • Kemanorel

    "I would like to humbly submit, WTF is up with the commenters on the column itself? Almost all female-named and filled with solicitous “aww, how sweet!” remarks. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!?!?!"

    Judging by the fact they would like a kind of overly-obsesed, stalkerish kind of significan other: they're Twilight fans.

  • Chuck C

    The only thing missing from his article was "by the way: your bedroom window frame could use a coat of paint".

  • http://www.randomthinking.info Tom

    Cohen should have written that column, then BURNED IT.

    baltimoregal nailed it. Imagine Cohen trying to find another girlfriend with this article out there. I would imagine that most women would stay far away from him after reading this.

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  • Phil

    I wonder if this column also showed some of the reasons for his first 'unexpected' divorce...

  • mau

    @K: "I would like to humbly submit, WTF is up with the commenters on the column itself? Almost all female-named and filled with solicitous “aww, how sweet!” remarks. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!?!?!"

    People send marriage proposals to Charlie Manson, too.

  • Susan

    One of many things Cohen needs to ask himself is why does this world make women feel as though they need to choose a career over "her life." And maybe for some women, their career is their life and it's very fulfilling. No one would ever say that about a man. What a fucking douche.

  • http://devojane.blogspot.com Phill

    "Come on now, Andrew, you're using your outside voice for your inner thoughts again. We don't want the restraints again, do we?"

  • Lizrd

    I bet their first act as husband and wife was to defriend this mother fucker

  • http://relievemypain.blogspot.com/ Lori

    I have a hard time believing a few things about Cohen's article. First, the "love of [his] life" is marrying someone else and he's thrilled to death about it. Nobody is that magnanimous. Second, he wants to move on with someone else. People who want to find someone else don't publicly worship an ex. The word "ex" brings me to a question: were these two ever an item? Most men refer to their ex-girlfriends as ex-girlfriends. People usually talk about what their friends do well or the things they've done together. All I know about Cohen's ex(?) is that she's a super lady.

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