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A MARRIAGE MADE IN HOLLYWOOD

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September 2004
A MARRIAGE MADE IN HOLLYWOOD

Rick Fox was once my favorite basketball player and Vanessa Williams one of my favorite singers, so when they hooked up a few years ago, they became, naturally, one of my favorite celebrity couples. They were as good-looking as Jennifer and Brad, except perhaps on bad hair days. But you can forgive Rick for that. He had a busy schedule and couldn't visit the hairstylist more than once or twice a day.

Rick and Vanessa tied the knot in a lavish made-for-Oprah ceremony. It was very touching, almost brought tears to my eyes, because not only were their friends and relatives there, but so were their children from previous relationships. The only thing that would have made it perfect is if their former partners could have been there. (Vanessa's ex-husband could have given her away. That would have really made me cry!)

I'm not sure how much they spent on their wedding, but it was probably enough to fund the war in Iraq. Celebrity weddings don't come cheap, especially when the guests expect to leave with more stuff than they bring.

Young guest: "Dad, why are these goblets made of gold?"

Older guest: "They're called favors, son. Now do me a favor and stuff a few down your pants."

Whatever Rick and Vanessa spent on their wedding, they probably don't regret it, because not only did they produce a beautiful daughter, Sasha, they also made their marriage last a long time, from one century to the next. They stayed together for ? drum roll, please ? half a decade, and may have set a record for the longest marriage involving two actors. Yes, they both did some acting ? she occasionally acted in movies and he occasionally acted like he was married.

Actually, I'm not sure who caused the marriage to fall apart, perhaps they both did, but whatever the case, the made-for-Oprah wedding has now turned into a made-for-Springer divorce. And it's sad, really, because when I watched the wedding, I thought to myself, "If these two can't make it, what hope is there for ordinary-looking people?"

Truth is, celebrity marriages are like tight pants from China. You better not make any sudden moves, because they're likely to split. Last I checked, the divorce rate among celebrities was somewhere around 130 percent. It would be a little higher, except that some celebrities, such as Britney Spears, have managed to get their marriages annulled. (It's too bad she couldn't get some of her music annulled.)

I just hope ordinary folks aren't using celebrities as role models. Celebrities don't seem to put much effort into their marriages. Some marriages are definitely harder than others, but you've got to try your best to make them work. Don't give up on your wife easily, whether she's gained a few pounds or lost a few dollars. And don't give up on your husband easily, whether he's reluctant to get the dishes done or eager to get his hair done.

You have to remember your marriage vows. In case you've forgotten, let me remind you: It's "for richer or for poorer," NOT "for richer or for purer." It's "in sickness and in health," NOT "in slickness and in health." And most importantly, it's "till death us do part," NOT "till debt us do part."


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