I should start by saying, if you happened to notice the missing “e” in the title of this post, it was intentional. It was just announced that Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis have officially separated after 14 years together. Needless to say, I am saddened to hear it. Although the rumors had been flying for months that they had split, I had hoped that those two would weather the storm and emerge unscathed. But alas, even one of the world’s most perfect couples is still, wouldn’t ya know it, imperfect.
Why did I think they were perfect in the first place? Good question. I guess it had something to do with the fact that I’ve always put Johnny on a pedestal since back in my teens when I first fell in love with him on 21 Jumpstreet. Add to that the fact that he and Vanessa took the road less traveled and opted not to marry, a statement that I somehow felt, in some way, made their bond seem even stronger. (Although I guess I failed to consider how other unmarried couples like Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins had ended up.) Plus, there was something so romantic about Vanessa being French – a beautiful foreign actress, so very different from all the Hollywood types that Johnny might otherwise have ended up with. And lastly, the joy with which Johnny would speak about his beautiful little Lily Rose, and later her little brother Jack, made me think this family was indestructible. But I guess even celebrities cannot escape the trials and tribulations of relationships, no matter how unreal and spectacular their lives may seem.
This all got me thinking – if they can’t make it, who can? It seems these days that even the seemingly most perfect-for-each-other couples are falling apart at the seams. Take Heidi Klum and Seal, for example. Those two could not be more different, which was what made their partnership all the more admirable. And after three children together, one would imagine that the option of separating was simply no longer on the table. In fact, the most recent addition to the family arrived only two years before the couple announced their split. I’m obviously not privy to their private lives, but it would seem to me that once you go down the path of having multiple children together, you are in it for the long haul. What kind of problems would suddenly arise after baby number three to make the relationship unsustainable? Heidi had even recently changed her surname to Seal’s, and Seal had adopted Heidi’s first child from a previous relationship. All roads pointed to a life long partnership, but yet, even that didn’t last. Sigh.
Then there is Demi and Ashton. Now admittedly, that one did seem doomed from the start. But somehow, after a few years went by, I was convinced that they were going to last – defying all odds, proving that age really is just a number and that true love can prevail… and it did! Well, at least for six years, which is how long they were married. I had really hoped that they would somehow make it work, if nothing else than to prove to all the naysayers that they were the real deal. But sadly, they too went the way of the Dodo.
Last but not least, there is Derek and Minka. Here is where I could not have been happier for two people I had never met, yet somehow felt a strong connection to. As a huge Yankee fan, and simultaneously, an even bigger (if that’s even possible) Friday Night Lights fan, the level of admiration I had for this adorable couple was unparalleled. I mean, come on – baseball superstar meets stunning young actress and finally settles into a real relationship after years of playing the field. (Pun intended.) I really thought he was smitten. Head over heels. Dunzo. I would watch Minka in her Yankee ball cap at the games cheering him on, and for some reason it just made me happy. But then, I heard the news long before anyone else – a friend of a friend is actually Jeter’s assistant and we found out that things weren’t looking good. I was beyond bummed! I know it sounds ridiculous, but sometimes you just find yourself rooting for people just for the idealization of everlasting love. Maybe it’s because we all aspire to reach a level of companionship that only seems plausible for celebrities, and when we find they too are fallible, it dashes all our hopes and dreams for possibly reaching that same level of bliss in our own relationships. Maybe the real lesson is that we should recognize how difficult relationships are universally, and to set more realistic expectations from one another. Perhaps that way, the divorce rate in this country wouldn’t be quite as high and people will stop hopping from person to person in search of the “perfect” relationship. Since, apparently, those really only exist… in the movies.
Ashton & Demi
Derek & Minka
Johnny & Vanessa
Seal & Heidi