and Rita Nakouzi
Met: Sept. 28, 2000 Engaged: Sept. 18, 2003 Projected Wedding Date: May
the 33-year-old host of MTV2′s Spoke ‘N’
Heard and a writer for Rolling Stone
who prefers to keep his last name private, is marrying Rita Nakouzi, 28, a
fashion consultant at Promostyl, at a yet-to-be determined venue in New York
City. Ms. Nakouzi joked that she could change her name to just “Rita” and they
could be a “very modern” couple. “He didn’t find that very funny,” she said.
met “across a crowded room” (as they both put it) at a mini-concert by Lenny
Kravitz for his music video “Again.” “It’s so funny I’m meeting you,” Touré
told the dusky beauty, “because I’m reading Midnight’s
Children [which takes place in India].”
great,” said Ms. Nakouzi, who is half-Iranian, half-Lebanese. “I’m not Indian.”
“I was like: ‘Foot in mouth!’” Touré said.
Later that night, he found Ms. Nakouzi again, sitting on
the couch in the V.I.P. room. “Hi,” he said, fixing her with a penetrating
gaze. “I want your number, I want your address, I want your cell phone number,
I want your mother’s number. I’m getting in touch with you.’” Expressionless,
Ms. Nakouzi obeyed.
broke all the rules,” she said. “He called right away.” The following night,
Touré showed up at her office in his car and took her out to dinner at La Casa.
“He was such a gentleman,” she said. “That doesn’t happen in New York.”
On the afternoon before their tentatively scheduled
second date, Ms. Nazouki’s office phone system shut down, and she waited all
day for her cell phone to jing-a-ling. After 7:30 came and went, the
disappointed damsel left the office, only to run into Touré on the sidewalk
outside. Turned out she’d given him the wrong number, and he’d driven all the
way to her apartment to leave a note, then rushed back to her place of
business. I know this girl , he’d
thought, and she wouldn’t give me a
second chance if I didn’t make it.
he got a four-week gig at a writers’ retreat in Italy, Touré invited Ms.
Nakouzi to join him two weeks before the retreat. “I was like, ‘This is the big
tester,’” she said. “We had really an incredible trip. Crazy things happen when
you travel. I remember when he dropped me off at the train station, my heart
sank. At that moment, I was like: Wow, I
could really see myself with this guy. “
year later, she moved from her one-bedroom in Fort Greene into his duplex in
the same neighborhood. And another year later, Touré surprised Ms. Nakouzi
during a business trip to Paris with a 2.75-carat Asher-cut solitaire on the
balcony of a restaurant overlooking the Eiffel Tower (he’d planned to take her
to a bridge over the Seine, but was concerned about her four-inch Manolos).
has definitely the greatest character of any person that I’ve ever met-far
stronger than mine,” said the author, whose first novel, Soul City , a magical-realist tale about a small African-American
town, is due in September.
just in awe of his imagination and his talent,” cooed Ms. Nakouzi.
kids will get the secret last name.
– Alexandra Wolfe
Goldman and Richard Siegmeister
Met: June 21, 2003 Engaged: Dec. 19, 2003 Projected Wedding Date:
Sept. 12, 2004
Goldman’s husband hunt had taken her on over 100 dates. “I interview people for
a living,” explained the dark-haired Ms. Goldman, 36, a human-resources
generalist who lives in ( gasp ) Fort Lee, N.J. “I approach dating
like a job search.”
friends call her the “diversity queen” for her general approach to humanity,
Ms. Goldman was determined to find someone of her faith. “I’ve met the most
horrendous Jewish guys,” she said. “I’d call them up, and the first thing
they’d ask for was my dress size.” She had become the court jester of the
office, her co-workers greedily demanding the latest “horror story” each morning.
Not even back surgery in December 2002 could deter Ms.
Goldman from her quest. Immobilized in bed, she spent the entire month surfing
the Web for potential mates. A friend had recommended Greatboyfriends.com,
“where every single man comes with a woman’s stamp of approval,” and it was
there that she espied Richard Siegmeister, a balding, bespectacled fellow one
year her senior who was taking evening bar classes following his graduation
Siegmeister didn’t respond to Ms. Goldman’s e-mail. “I had no time to be dating
anyone from New Jersey,” he said. “I live in the East Village .”
Ms. Goldman was disappointed but quickly moved on, like
the unstoppable PATH train of passion she was. Later that spring, she found
herself listening to one prospect describing his gastrointestinal distress in
graphic detail the day after their date. “It was the straw that broke the
camel’s back,” she said. She decided to give that guy from Greatboyfriends.com
By now, Mr. Siegmeister was juggling studies for the bar
with a job as the director of talent contracts and guild affairs for Sesame
Workshop, and he quickly laid down the law. “If you can’t deal with my
schedule, then forget about it,” he wrote.
His unfazed pursuer drove in from the boonies on a rainy
day for coffee at Des Moines, a restaurant on Avenue A. After a pleasant chat,
they decided to stroll over to Mr. Siegmeister’s favorite shop, Toy Tokyo (by
coincidence, Ms. Goldman had spent almost six years in Tokyo, on an exchange
program studying the relationship between Japanese business and
culture)-whereupon she slipped, falling on the wet pavement. “She wasn’t
embarrassed at all,” he said appreciatively.
in self-imposed isolation for the bar, Mr. Siegmeister was delighted to receive
a care package from Ms. Goldman filled with homemade brownies, Sesame Street
trinkets, pencils, Japanese good-luck charms and a screwdriver. “She’s Miss
Powertool,” he said. We’ll say!
restorative trips to Florida and Jamaica quickly ratcheted up the intensity of
the relationship. Mr. Siegmeister rejected his mother’s engagement ring, a
diamond in a butt-crack-like chevron setting, and got Sandy and Lisa from Owl’s
Roost Antiques to reset the original diamond in white gold surrounded by
sapphires. He presented this to Ms. Goldman on the first night of Hanukkah,
along with a handcrafted storybook called The
Story of Richie and Ichi (the nickname given to Jodi by her grandmother).
They’ll be married by Harvard professor Shaye J.D. Cohen
at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. “After all that time searching,” said the
delighted bride-to-be, “we found one another.”
escapes from Jersey on May 1.
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