Just as thousands of brides- and grooms-to-be prepared yesterday for their June weddings, Al and Tipper Gore announced that, after 40 years of marriage, they would be separating. (That’s encouraging news for newlyweds!)
While it’s certainly surprising to hear that the former Vice President and his high-school sweetheart photographer wife, whose kiss rocked the the 2000 Democratic National Convention, have decided to separate after four decades of marriage, it’s almost more surprising to hear that the relationship didn’t implode due to some torrid affair.
While few details are available, it seems that this is not the high-profile John Edwards/Tiger Woods/Jesse James-type tabloid-fueled scandal that we have gotten used to, but simply a case of two individuals growing apart over the years. How positively pedestrian!
“This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration,” the Gores wrote in an email to friends obtained by and first reported on by Politico.
Television pundits shocked by the news are finding it hard to give the story any legs. A segment this morning on MSNBC with a People reporter who has followed the Gores for years, seemed to go nowhere when she noted that, yes, it was a shock to hear that the seemingly happy couple were separating, but that upon further reflection, friends could see they were leading separate lives and that was simply that.
And yet it seems that people want there to be juicy Bombshell McGees, secret love children, multiple mistresses, and tantalizing tabloid tidbits. Message boards are full of incredulity, claiming that there must have been cheating or some sort of scandal. Why else would a couple separate after 40 years? People just don’t throw in the towel after such a long time; they stick it out, by gum! Like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Al and Tipper seemed like the perfect couple: two people just meant for each other.
Maybe there are revelations yet to come, but, putting aside those who believe that divorce is never an option, it seems that these reactions speak more to the need of the American public to believe in a happily ever after, rather than the reality of relationships.
Were you shocked by the Gore’s announcement?