November 15, 2003

When Journalists Mate

"He’d Nexis’d me! I was really impressed." -- Cheryl Tan

Michael Hale and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Met: August 2001
Engaged: October 2002
Projected Wedding Date: Feb. 14, 2004

Michael Hale, 43, the floppy-haired assistant editor of The New York Times’ Sunday Arts and Leisure section, is engaged to Cheryl Tan, 28, a senior fashion writer at InStyle....

The bride plans to wear a halter-topped Narciso Rodriguez gown—the same design that Meg Ryan wore on last April’s cover of InStyle. To secure the frock, Ms. Tan went on a waiting list at Bergdorf Goodman like anyone else. "It was the first dress I tried on and I said to my sister, ‘Oh my God! Am I going to feel like I married the first guy I slept with?’....’"

The couple [met at] an Asian-American Journalists Association event at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. "This is going to sound a bit dorky," Mr. Hale said, "but you know, we’re both journalists, and we take that very seriously." Ms. Tan, a streak-haired, full-cheeked looker who was born in Singapore and attended Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, was working as a fashion writer for The Baltimore Sun at the time....

They bumped into each other the next day at a cutting-edge panel on how to cover transsexual and transgender communities. Mr. Hale had apparently done a little extracurricular research overnight. "He said ‘Oh, I liked this story, and I liked your treatment of that,’" Ms. Tan said. "And I’m like, ‘Huh? No one reads The Baltimore Sun.’ But then I realized it: He’d Nexis’d me! I was really impressed."

She arrived in New York for Fashion Week in fall 2001 and suddenly found herself covering Ground Zero stories. She was constantly calling Mr. Hale at The Times’ headquarters, and their romance was rapidly expedited. They began commuting between Manhattan and D.C., playing lots of board games ("Never play Trivial Pursuit with this man," she said darkly), watching The X-Files over the phone when they couldn’t be together in the flesh.


Posted by Vanderleun at November 15, 2003 8:33 AM
Bookmark and Share