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And when Dr. Katz lost his job, Ms. Gold promptly published an essay about their relationship in Common Sense, the newsletter run by Bari Weiss, a former writer and editor for the opinion department of The New York Times. (“My alma mater is not the school I once loved,” went part of the headline. “But Joshua Katz is exactly the man I knew I married.”)
“He’s young at heart, and I’m an old soul, and it works,” Ms. Gold said later.
While she is not a national player yet, she has long imagined the possibility. When Ms. Gold was named a winner of the Pyne prize, one of Princeton’s highest undergraduate honors for which Dr. Katz (they were not in a relationship at the time) was one of her nominators, the official announcement said she aspired to become a public intellectual. (She had a head start. Ms. Gold and her grandfather Robert W. Jenson, a Lutheran theologian, wrote a book, “Conversations With Poppi About God,” when she was just 8.)
As her guests were about to arrive, Ms. Gold changed from a plain blue summer shift into a more glamorous cinched-waist yellow dress, drawing an approving smile from her husband, who was wearing a pink linen shirt.
She set the long rectangular table in the grass precisely, with a Wedgewood-blue and white tablecloth, cloth napkins tied up in yellow ribbons, place cards inked in a neat cursive hand and melamine dishes in a Provençal design. She was schooled in formal manners from a young age, she said, as an only child to an actress and a soap opera writer. “My mom threw a lot of dinner parties, and I ended up talking to adults,” Ms. Gold said.
Dr. Katz was her professor in two classes, Egyptology and Hesiod, and her freshman adviser, but there was no romance in sight, she said, until the summer of 2017, her graduation year, and then it was a slow burn. Besides, as a Democrat and comfortably paunchy middle-aged man, he wasn’t her type.