Marie and Maria . . .
. . . and the attempts to live happily ever after with Mr Right.
Sitting in the bar of a hotel in San Francisco, my company for the duration was the television tuned to CNN where the amiable host Piers Morgan was interviewing Donny and Marie from the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas where they are performing their latest variety show.
Donny’s ageless good looks had Piers Morgan dribbling with envy. Marie, however, sat back in a glazey daze of surgical plastic fantastic, the camera hovering from too close a close-up. Ever the trooper, she joshed and bantered with good will, remembering the old days when good old Groucho pinched her butt. Between the two of them it was memories of Sammy this and Elvis that.
Therapy and God, and Donny, have obviously pulled Marie through a series of personal upheavals and misfortunes. For now, she is in a good place having recently re-married her first husband and father to one of her eight children, wearing the bridal gown from the original wedding back in 1982. Not sure that the gown was such a good choice back then, let alone for the second journey down the aisle to happy ever after land, but her choice . . .
BBC journalist Andrew Marr, another famous philanderer, once wrote that men love women, women love children and children love hamsters. This suggests, contrary to all appearances, that husbands and wives, for the most part, are not on the same page, marriage carrying with it a conspiracy of silence beyond the gentle warnings that we will all have our ups and downs. Like childbirth, we all know it “hurts” but how much it hurts we have to go and find out for ourselves. So many weddings, the mothers of the brides dabbing tears from their eyes . . .
Maria Shriver posted a youtube link some time ago seeking advice on how to cope with transition. She could always read the SCUM manifesto by one Valerie Solanis who was crazy enough to take her opinions to extremes http://www.womynkind.org/scum.htm or she could talk to Bonnie Bronfman who is celebrating her divorce from the fabulously wealthy Charles Bronfman http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/fashion/celebrating-a-divorce-with-a-party-noticed.html?_r=1&ref=fashion
Marriage, such a strange and so private an affair until it hits the fan. Perhaps a fact of age and stage but personal anecdotal evidence is mounting and it is all pointing to a severe twenty-five year itch. Men are leaving wives behind with the comforting words “I love you but not in the same way anymore . . . “ That they have usually found some-one else they love in a new and exciting way and with whom, amazingly, they have so much in common, only adds to the bitterness of being left alone in the empty nest.
The pain and the misery of betrayal and rejection shrink wraps the mind into a nasty vortex of utter confusion. Husbands might have lovers but women will always have friends, friends who remind you who you are and who you used to be once upon a long time ago. They cry with you, they feed you and slowly nurse you back into the world.
They drink with you, dance with you and they sing with you. They know the words to Puppy Love . . .
For Marie, the show goes on, and, for all the Maria’s in our lives, we go dress shopping with you should there be a next time.