Idol Chatter

reeseryansm.jpgCelebrity divorces: they’re seldom pleasant. As we’ve seen, there’s name-calling, slander, lawsuits, and fighting over custody. (Actually, that does sound a lot like most non-celebrity divorces as well: just without coverage in the Enquirer.) When we see a couple that we think are going to make it–becoming our generation’s Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward–we latch our hopes and dreams onto them.

For some of us, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe were gonna be our Joanne and Paul–they would make it because they were both beautiful and seemed to have a really healthy marriage. But reality has shown us, time and again, although we don’t seem to learn the lesson, that no outside observer can know how successful a relationship is. Now that Reese and Ryan’s divorce is final, but they’ve both been taking the high road in terms of discussing their personal lives; they talk about the pain of such an important relationship ending, but nothing more.
Perhaps there’s a lesson here, beyond the tabloids’ proclamation that Celebrities Are Just Like Us! (“They wear flip flops! They drink coffee! They get divorced!”). Maybe–and here’s a radical idea–it’s none of our business whether either partner was tempted, or they discovered that their parenting styles, so seemingly in sync, were suddenly out of tune. Maybe we should just learn that sometimes, relationships end, and sometimes, it’s just sad for everyone. What Reese and Ryan teach us, regardless of whether their purported respective romantic dalliances turn out to have been true and to have played a role, is that there’s a way to end things gracefully, fairly, and outside the public eye, keeping the privacy of the family intact even as it dissolves. Or you could just sue each other. Totally up to you.

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