He was a boy. She was a girl. Can I make it any more obvious?
She was 27. He was 72. Okay, maybe I can make it more obvious.
Dr. Marc Wallack, 72, and Cynthia Zhou, 27, were married in Westhampton Beach on July 30th amidst the sound of the crashing ocean and a cool breeze created by the judgmental whispers of guests. The Vows section of the New York Times chronicled the Wallack-Zhou seashore wedding, which featured a rustic huppah woven through with white roses and hydrangeas. The bride wore tiered, backless, Monique Lhuillier, the groom wore No. 1 Saville Row picked out by the bride, and both of them dressed in defiance.
“Let’s face it,” Zhou told the Times. “Our age difference is the elephant in the room.” Wallack said conversations with friends and family leading up to his marriage “haven’t always been pleasant.” Zhou argued that her marriage should be accepted the way interracial and gay marriages have been. (Not that you asked our opinion but, while Zhou and Wallack’s love should be accepted because love between two consenting adults is none of our business and age is irrelevant, the acceptance of interracial and LGBT couples feels like more of what one might call a “human rights issue.”)
Just how did a septuagenarian win a 20-something Dartmouth grad? Bribes? Trickery? Haters, no. He called her on her cell phone. Says Zhou:
Not a lot of guys call. Men my age will text you and want to meet at a dive bar. So I was really surprised when he called, and when I picked up he was really polite. He asked me how I was doing, how my day was. So it was just pleasant.
“I was really surprised when he called, and when I picked up he was really polite.” With all due respect to the Wallack-Zhou family, whose courtship story is truly lovely, this is a friendly reminder to straight men: the bar has never been lower! Age is nothing but a number and a telephone number is nothing but an opportunity to demonstrate basic social skills.
Dr. Marc Wallack and Cynthia Zhou. 72 and 27. Head of surgery and finance intern. Third marriage and the very first. Does it matter?
I know what my grandma would say about this, and maybe yours as well. There’s only one thing that matters here:
Mazal tov to the happy couple.
Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny