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As college reunions go, this one is especially sweet.

New Jersey’s Gregory Dabice and Janet Fenner tied the knot last weekend on the same football field where they were crowned Montclair State University’s homecoming king and queen back in 1992, the Bergen Record reported.

The two had known each other through Greek life on campus but were never romantically involved — and had lived separate lives until a fortuitous reconnection, via a dating app, a full two dozen years later.

“He was the player fraternity boy and I was the goody-goody,” recalled Fenner, 48, who told the paper she was a straight-A student-athlete who was involved in sorority government.

Meanwhile, Dabice, now 50, was a party animal back in college at Phi Alpha Psi, where he reportedly was the perennial champion of the fraternity’s “kill-a-keg” party, according to the Record.

“I wasn’t right for her in any way,” he told the Record. “She was too good for me and I knew it.”

After their brief reign as king and queen, they went their separate ways, each starting families with children. They both wound up divorced in the same year, 2016.

Soon, their paths crossed on the dating app Bumble.

Fenner swiped right on Dabice’s profile not even recognizing her one-time “king” underneath his facial hair.

“I was stunned in so many ways,” he said. “She looked the same. I hadn’t even thought of her in years and there she was. It was unreal.”

He proposed to Fenner on April 5 in front of their children. A procession of extended family drove up with signs on their vehicles spelling out “Janet will you marry me yes or no?” according to the paper.

MSU was reportedly fully on-board with hosting a socially distant wedding on the field and worked out all the planning to make it happen.

“There was instant trust and warmth,” Dabice said of seeing Fenner again. “We just slipped right into the conversation as if we were sitting in the school cafeteria. I didn’t want it to end.”

Filed under dating apps ,  new jersey ,  weddings ,  8/9/20

News Source: New York Post

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‘The Queen’s Gambit’ is So Popular Because it’s Secretly a Superhero Show

The Queen’s Gambit is a very good show that shocked everyone by being Netflix’s runaway hit of the fall. Its success seems beguiling at first glance. Was it huge because of the gravitational star power of Anya Taylor-Joy? The escapist fantasy of the swinging ’60s? The hidden universal popularity of chess?? I think it was all these things combined, but there is one huge reason why The Queen’s Gambit became a zeitgeist-seizing hit…

The Queen’s Gambit is secretly just another superhero show. Sure Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) opts for chic coats and cat eyes over a cape and mask, but her story follows the basic arc of a superhero origin story. From her background as a displaced orphan to the discovery of her special gift, all the way to the battle for herself being as important as squaring off with her greatest opponent, The Queen’s Gambit is a superhero story. Only instead of being able to shoot webbing from her fingers or move objects with her mind, Beth is an uncanny chess prodigy. That’s it. That’s the only big difference.

Based on the Walter Tevis novel of the same name, The Queen’s Gambit follows a young Kentucky woman from the depths of despair to international acclaim as a chess grandmaster. As a child, Beth Harmon is orphaned when her brilliant, but mentally unwell mother dies in a car crash. She is taken in by the Methuen Home for Girls, where she is immediately hooked on tranquilizers and bewitched by the game of chess. Mr. Shaibel (Bill Camp), the orphanage’s janitor, reluctantly teaches the girl to play and soon realizes her unmatched potential. It is only later, after she is adopted by a dysfunctional suburban couple in her teens, that Beth is able to enter local competitions. There she dazzles the other players as she takes down rival after rival.

Photo: Netflix

But Beth’s story is also one of self-discovery. As she grows as a competitor, so does her confidence. She trades dowdy duds for haute couture and reinvents herself as a fashion plate. The clothing in The Queen’s Gambit doubles as Beth’s own superhero costume. The more powerful she grows in her talent, the more refined her clothing is. Always feminine, often patterned with black and white checker patterns evoking the chess board, Beth’s wardrobe is as much a form of armor as Iron Man’s suit. Not to mention that like most Marvel superheroes (in particular), Beth’s biggest enemy is herself.

Since Beth believes her powers as a chess player are fueled by tranquilizers and booze, she indulges in self-medication as a coping mechanism to the point of peril. But her addictions are a crutch. Beth’s ability to coolly see an infinite amount of chess moves in her head is all her. It is only with a group of friends that Beth finally gains the confidence — and gets the training — she needs to push her over the edge. She’s able to finally not only master herself, but the game of chess.

In The Queen’s Gambit‘s series finale, Beth whips through an intense international chess tournament like she’s playing Mortal Kombat with cheat codes. Indeed, The Queen’s Gambit positions chess not as a dusty intellectual pursuit but a high-stakes battle ending in a K.O. (or occasional draw). The arc of Beth’s rise matches that of a martial arts athlete dominating the competition on the local level, then national level, and finally the world.


The Queen’s Gambit seems to be a straightforward bildungsroman about a chess prodigy coming into her own. And it is that. However it also hews closely to the structure of many of the superhero stories and fantasy sagas that have come to have a chokehold grip on pop culture. Everything about Beth’s story mirrors that of a pulp fiction hero’s journey.

Think about it. She’s an orphan who discovers by accident that she has a special gift. A wizened mentor attempts to teach her to control this gift before departing, and then dying. Fate gives Beth opportunities to use her “superpower” in battles against gatekeepers, bullies, and fierce rivals. Some of them become allies and some rivalries deepen. But ultimately Beth must believe in herself to wield her power to take down the biggest rival of them all.

The Queen’s Gambit doesn’t tell the story in moralistic terms of good and evil, but in the stark contrast of the colors black & white. The colors of chess. The men Beth must beat strut in dark suits while her final moment of glory is capped by a snow white ensemble. It’s all figurative, all combative, but also, as Beth tells a reporter, beautiful. In this way, The Queen’s Gambit is subtly subverting routine superhero tropes, but the fact remains the show’s structure follows them.

Photo: Netflix

The Queen’s Gambit‘s use of the superhero origin story arc helps ease viewers into a world that might otherwise be foreign to them. Beth’s specific personality tics aside, chess is often seen as too cerebral to be universally accessible. The Queen’s Gambit, however, invites viewers in by treating Beth’s preternatural talent for the game the same way an X-Men movie addresses a mutant’s burgeoning superpower. The Queen’s Gambit follows all the typical superhero story beats, only it’s about chess.

The Queen’s Gambit is an expertly acted, beautifully styled, breezily short binge-watch, but so are a lot of prestige shows in 2020. The Queen’s Gambit‘s secret weapon, though — the element that pushed it over the edge and made it a word-of-mouth smash — was the way it adopted the tropes of an uber-popular genre to tell a less mainstream story.

Watch The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix

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