The New York Times’ normally genteel “Vows” column hit a nerve on Sunday, with its tale of John Partilla and Carol Riddell—who each left spouses to get hitched. It’s “part Brady Bunch, part The Scarlet Letter,” the paper cooed. Bloggers and commenters tore the paper a new one. “These things happen,” says New York magazine, “but we do question the decision to celebrate it in the face of your exes and children.” Now Partilla tells the New York Post he regrets the whole thing.
“We can't control other people's judgments,” he says, but if they’d known the reaction they’d get, “we obviously would not have shared our life in any way publicly.” So why did they do it at all? “We just wanted one honest account of how this happened,” Riddell tells Forbes. Heck, Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon doesn’t see why this is worse than typical vomit-inducing Vows column. “A wedding is not always simply a happy ending,” she writes. “Sometimes it’s just a messed-up true story.”