Who would ever have thought that the marriage wouldn't last?
I mean, I saw Truth or Dare -- you know, that documentary that had cameras following Madonna around during her Truth or Dare Tour, allowing us to take a peak at her relationships with her dancers, her then boyfriend (Warren Beatty), her fans (including Kevin Costner, whom Madonna dissed for calling her show "neat"), her family and even her throat doctor. And, alright, so maybe Madonna didn't exactly come off as particularly down-to-earth. But even so, who would have thought that Madonna might be a bit of a handful? Who would have thought that she would fly her blueberries in from Canada? That she would put an embargo on sugar, dairy and Christmas in her household? That she would sleep in plastic (as claimed by Britain's the Daily Mail)? That she would schedule sex with her husband around her (extensive) gym workouts?
Apparently, not Guy Ritchie. People magazine reports that "for Guy, being with someone like Madonna was, quite simply, draining".
Well, I never.
Sarcasm aside, I have to say that as I read the reports of the marital spats between the Queen of Leotards and Fishnet Tights and her Britalicious Moviemaking Boy Toy, what I am impressed by is, quite frankly, the sheer ordinariness of it all. Viewed through my eyes, which is to say, the eyes of a woman who will have been married for 15 years come January 2009, the dirty laundry being hung out on the line by Our Lady of the Sinewy Arms of Steel and Mr. Lock, Snatch and Two Smoking RocknRollas appears to be, well, downright banal.
Let's review the facts.
First, we hear reports romantically linking Madonna and Alex Rodriguez. We hear that maybe A-Rod believed that Madonna was his soul mate (awwww!). After denials are issued, we then hear that A-Rod and his wife are divorcing. So, let's see: married woman steps out with younger athletic type who thinks he has found his soul mate in her; there are children are involved, and people are outraged. Change the names, and this could have taken place in my own little leafy suburban hamlet (and in fact, it did, and more than once, so there's that).
Okay, so then, denials aside, we begin to hear murmurings of marital unhappiness in the House of British Accents Either Real or Acquired. Seems that one of them is away on business an awful lot. And how come it seems like we never see them together anymore? She drops hints at work that things might not be going so well at home. He's hanging out with his coworkers more and more. Eventually, our suspicions are confirmed: the marriage is dead, and they've agreed to divorce.
Wow. That could be the couple down the street from me. Or it could be a James Taylor song. But so far, I see nothing out of the ordinary.
Soon we begin to hear the nitty-gritty details of the marital demise, which, I suppose, are supposed to shock and appall us. Except that they don't shock and appall me at all except insofar as I kind of (sheepishly) see not a couple of crazy show business types, but maybe...cough...myself. For example, Us Weekly reports that Madge would berate Guy with comments like, "I should have married someone like me: strong, hot-blooded, intelligent, ambitious, spiritual." Seriously? If I had a nickel for every time I've griped to my husband over the past 15 years that "I should have married someone who......" (and you can fill in the blank with "appreciates really expensive shoes" or "wants to buy his wife diamond earrings" or even "does yoga"), I would definitely have at least, well, a couple of nickels.
Sad but true: It's what married people do when they fight. Sometimes we say mean stuff to each other. It's not pretty. But is it news?
"Their fights would often get heated. A few times Madonna slapped him or poked him," the Us Weekly report continues. Okay, well, no one slaps anyone in my household, but I won't lie: I've definitely done a bit of poking at my husband when he's pretending to sleep and I really really want to get in the last word about something we were bickering about earlier. But who hasn't?
Us also has a source that claims that "Guy called her old, fat, ugly and wrinkled and said that she was stupid and couldn't sing,". Okay, now wait just a second there. I'm sorry, but I just cannot get past the idea of Guy calling Madonna fat. This is Madonna we're talking about. Remember her? She looks to weigh about 90 pounds, including the lace-up boots. I keep trying to believe that anyone could ever call her fat. But it just seems so implausible. Certainly, it's not anything that my husband would ever dare to even think to say to me, and he doesn't even have to worry about me pummeling him with my arms of steel, since I don't have arms of steel. But I do assume that in many ordinary marriages, insults are hurled about, and regrettable barbs are launched.
But here's the thing that makes it all make sense, that makes it all so unsurprising, that makes it all so incredibly predictable and ordinary: If Guy called Madonna fat, then it shouldn't have surprised him that she scheduled sex with him around her workouts at the gym, as has been reported. And why would Guy care if she wasn't having sex with him spontaneously or often or even at all? According to the U.K. News of the World, Guy compared sex with Madge to "cuddling up to a piece of gristle."
Frankly, after eight years of marriage, three kids and two busy careers, I think Guy should have been happy that he was getting "any" at all. And actually, considering that Madge is a hard-working working mom, I think it's kind of sweet (sticky and sweet, even) that Madonna even made the effort to pencil sex into her crazy schedule. I know plenty of wives who wouldn't even bother. So, really, if there's anything extraordinary about this tale of marital dreams dashed, that just might be it.