Countdown to Bliss

Andy Boose and Bennah Serfaty

Met: December 1999

Engaged: March 2003

Projected Wedding Date: July 19, 2003

Andy Boose, a.k.a. René Risqué of the sex-obsessed, self-referential band René Risqué and the Art Lovers, is marrying Bennah Serfaty, the director of publicity at the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

This may come as a surprise to those who have seen the 6-foot-2, large-lipped Mr. Boose onstage at Joe’s Pub-his exposed hips thrust forward to draw attention to his tight-pants-encased crotch-singing poppy, original tunes like “Not a Top, I’m a Bottom,” occasionally backed by Moby. “I’m like an honorary gay,” said the balding Mr. Boose, sipping red wine with his intended on the ground floor of their East Village triplex. She is 31. He refused to divulge his age, but said he was somewhere between 31 and 40. “If I were in L.A., I’d be 26,” he said. “You do the math.”

The couple met when the doll-like, almond-eyed Ms. Serfaty first joined amfAR, where Mr. Boose is director of special events-an appointment he said only adds to public confusion about his sexuality. “She walked into the party like she was walking onto a yacht,” Mr. Boose said, adding needlessly: “That’s from the Carly Simon song. No, but I mean, he-I mean, she-wait … what were we talking about? Oh. She walked into my office, and I’m just like, ‘I want her. She will be mine. That’s a good-looking piece of situation,’ you know?”

Ms. Serfaty figured he was gay. “I thought he was just a scrawny little East Village rocker type,” she said, one hand on her pregnant belly. (They’re expecting a baby girl in October.) Also, she was about to wed her college boyfriend, a manager at American Express. But when the marriage went kaput after a year, Mr. Boose pounced. “I jumped her,” he said. “I’m like, ‘I’m not waiting around no more!'”

“He really went through a transformation from being a very self-absorbed, single, partying guy,” Ms. Serfaty said, “to this really interesting, smart, worldly guy.”

“I changed for her because she’s my baby ,” said Mr. Boose, absentmindedly toying with a corkscrew. “She taught me how to be a good boy. You know, when you’re young and you’re in New York and you’re single for years and years, you get to the point where you eventually realize that it’s nice to give a little if you have someone to give to.” Mr. Boose paused. “René Risqué would not approve of this relationship,” he said. “What would he say? ‘Pathetic.'”

The flamboyant twosome often travels together for work, frequenting favorite clothing shops from Venice to Sundance. Mr. Boose likes wearing ladies’ duds. “He’s very happy in women’s clothing stores,” Ms. Serfaty said. “When we’re home, I have to keep him away from my closet before his shows. I have to say, ‘No, you can’t wear that tank top, because you’ll stretch it out and I may want to wear it next week.'”

After they got pregnant-on purpose, thank you very much!-they agreed to let Mr. Boose’s mother hand-address invitations to a small wedding at his childhood home in Rockland County, where they will swap matching white-gold Bulgari bands. “I knocked her up and she was like, ‘Well, you going to fucking marry me?’ And I’m like, ‘How do I even know that it’s mine?'” Mr. Boose said. “No, basically we decided we wanted to try and have a baby-and boom ! It’s the 2000 way to go.”

However, he added, “I’m not going to let René Risqué anywhere near my children.”

Andrew Gorlin and Lisa Tolin

Met: Jan. 9, 1999

Engaged: March 15, 2002

Projected Wedding Date: June 14, 2003

Lisa Tolin, 27, an editor on the national news desk of Associated Press, is marrying Andrew Gorlin, 29, a resident in emergency medicine at King’s County Hospital, at Banchet Flowers, a West Village florist. A reception will follow at “91”, an event space on Horatio Street. When groom was asked to describe bride on the phone, he said: “She’s beautiful, with long, curly brown hair and big brown eyes and a very womanly, curvy body. But that’s not a euphemism for ‘heavy’-she’s actually thin. She’s not heavy, O.K.? I want to make sure that comes across.” (No, reader, he did not provide her body-fat percentage.)

They first met on a group outing to One and One, the fish-and-chips joint on First Street, arranged by their respective best friends (who happened to be siblings). “My friend had told me he was kind of a player, and she was like, ‘Maybe you could hook up with him,'” Ms. Tolin said. “And I was like, ‘Um, no-I’m not that desperate.'”

Dr. Gorlin protested this “player” characterization. “I was just a nerdy medical student,” he said. “My friend told me Lisa would probably be too cool for me.”

But Ms. Tolin found herself drawn to the good doctor’s square jaw and sandy brown hair. “I thought he was cute,” she said. “And then I went to the A.T.M. with a friend halfway through dinner, and she was like, ‘He’s totally into you.'”

Indeed, he called her the next day. Ms. Tolin, a Barnard babe originally from Illinois, approved of this straightforward Midwestern approach to courtship (Dr. Gorlin hails from Michigan). “No toying around, no games,” she said. “He just wanted to get to the point, and that’s so uncommon in New York.”

After a year of dating, they took the plunge into a Park Slope one-bedroom-a “with-a-den kind of thing,” said Ms. Tolin, who has quit smoking and generally cleaned up her unhealthy newsroom habits to be more in sync with her sweetie. He isn’t always in step with her journalistic lifestyle. “He’ll always put on CNN, and when I get home it’s the last thing I want to see,” she said. “It’s like me making him watch ER . He used to watch it in med school, but now he just yells at the screen, like: ‘Ten c.c.’s? It should be 20!'”

“Our jobs are in some ways similar-both are high-pressure, fast-moving and change from minute to minute,” Dr. Gorlin said. “We can understand each other’s pressures and preoccupations. We can both envision each other at work and understand what it’s like to be there.”

He proposed during a Barbados beach vacation, handing over a filigreed platinum diamond with a one-carat diamond surrounded by smaller ones from the Clay Pot ( de rigueur engagement-ring source for Park Slope couples). There was no deep knee bend: “I just sort of got nervous and blurted it out,” he said.

“Afterward, the sky was full of stars, and I asked him which one was ours, and he pointed to the horizon and said: ‘That one down there, because it gets to travel the whole sky,'” recalled Ms. Tolin. “He’s kind of a guy’s guy, but he knew he got points for that one.”

She plans to wear an Empire-waisted white-and-light-yellow gown to the wedding, which will feature fruit tarts, profiteroles and espresso squares in lieu of the traditional buttercream extravaganza. The couple has been dieting in tandem, relying heavily on a juicer they received from their Bloomingdale’s registry. Bottoms up!

Gil Golan and Carole Shamula

Met: Sept. 27, 2002

Engaged: April 2, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: Aug. 17, 2003

Carole Shamula was with a bunch of disgruntled, single, Jewish, thirty-something gal pals, vacationing on Fire Island. They had rented American Pie , the crass teen sex flick about young girl-crazed bucks, which did little to improve their mood. That’s it! We’ve had it with single life! was the general storm cloud of sentiment descending upon the room as the credits rolled.

But Ms. Shamula was more chipper than the rest. “I said, ‘Hey, if you’re really ready, then the opportunity will present itself,” she said in her thick Brooklyn purr. “I suggested we do it like in American Pie , where the guys give themselves a deadline to have sex by the prom night. They all succeed. So I said we should make a deadline for ourselves that within the year, we’ll find someone.”

Whereupon they created the Neder Club ( neder being a Hebrew word for “vow” … not to be confused with the Nederlander Club, when your wife leaves you for Jerry Seinfeld), with chapters in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and held periodic “You Go, Girl!”-type meetings. “We decided that if we had taken our social lives as seriously as we had our careers, then we’d have been married already,” said Ms. Shamula, a Judiac studies teacher at Hannah Senesh Community Day School in Brooklyn Heights.

Members of the Neder Club introduced her to Gil Golan, a dark-eyed, dimple-chinned, Manhattan-born tax lawyer and all-around mensch , at a Shabbat dinner. “She basically came up to me and said, ‘Oh, you’re Gil Golan? You have many lovers!'” said Mr. Golan, 34. “I was a little, you know-shocked.”

“His eyes bulged,” said Ms. Shamula, also 34, a curvy (but not heavy!) olive-skinned brunette. “And I said, ‘All I mean is that a lot of people love you! Everywhere I go, people want to set me up with you.'”

“We were both giving off mutual signs,” said Mr. Golan. But the strictures of the holiday prevented him from writing down her number, so he memorized her last name and looked her up in the phone book. They soon realized that they’d been in the same West Hampton group house a few years before, but had never talked. “He had a goatee at the time, and that turned me off, so I had just ruled him out,” Ms. Shamula said. But he had such a nice punim !

When she goes to his Upper East Side one-bedroom on Shabbat-during which the pushing of buttons is forbidden-she winds her way up 19 flights on foot. Oy, that’s true love! (“Or I wait for someone who’s taking the elevator to push the button for me,” confessed Ms. Shamula, who lives in Flatbush with her parents.)

Mr. Golan-who was described by Ms. Shamula as “just a solid, straight, good-hearted, gentle guy”-proposed over dinner in a room inspired by Versailles at the Kosher Box Tree restaurant on 49th Street. The ring has a 1.5-carat princess-cut diamond set in an undulating platinum Lucida band, and the ceremony will be Modern Orthodox, at the Park Avenue Synagogue.

We are pleased to announce that the other three members of the Neder Club’s Brooklyn division have all been married off, but the three Manhattanites-it’s a heartless borough, isn’t it?-are still waiting to find their matches.

Countdown to Bliss