I don’t know about you, but in the little apartment that I share with Saffy, Amanda and my beloved adopted mongrel dog, Pooch, the biggest news right now is not the state of the world’s financial markets or even if the new American president should have surgery to pin his ears back.
No, the news that grips the fevered imaginations of my flatmates is Madonna’s divorce from Guy Ritchie.
This is how Saffy broke the news as Amanda walked in through our front door. “Oh God, Madonna!”
Amanda later said that for a confused minute, she thought that Saffy was having a mystical vision. As she said, “You never know with her.”
In this increasingly cynical world we live in, it says something that all of us so thoroughly bought into Madonna’s apparently fairy tale married life. Here was this rough New York girl with the unshaved armpits and the freakish ability to wrap her legs around her head (“Imagine sex with her!” as Saffy once observed with penetrating insight) who got married in some Scottish castle and basically packed up home for cold, drizzly, grey London where she then proceeded to have a multitude of children with the buff, no nonsense Guy Ritchie.
“He’s hot!” Amanda has said, with approval, on more than one occasion.
For her part, Saffy couldn’t get over how good Madonna was at multi-tasking her life. “How does that woman do it? A career, bazillions of dollars, abs of steel, Shambala and a great husband!”
“Kabbalah!” I said.
“Bless you!” Saffy replied from her parallel universe.
Not even the gossip that the Material Girl had been having an affair with that baseball player could tarnish her reputation.
“It’s all tawdry lies!” Saffy exclaimed at the time.
“Where got?” her good friend Sharyn said over a teh-o at Lau Pa Sat. “I read on Yahoo, you know. Must be true, lah!”
“You can’t believe everything you read, you numbnut!” Saffy said uncharitably, while hoping that Sharyn wouldn’t notice the latest copy of US Weekly peeking out over the edge of her handbag.
“You know for sure, is it!” Sharyn said whose coke-bottle glasses rarely allowed her to see anything beyond a feet anyway. On a clear day.
“It’s all lies. Madonna would never cheat on Guy!” Saffy replied with the kind of authority that hinted that she’d just that morning had coffee with her best friend Maddie.
The calm that followed the little storm with the baseball guy was, to the girls, proof that it was all the media trying to cause problems in a stainless marriage. “I swear, some people have nothing better to do!” Amanda said, as she stretched out on our lounge one Sunday afternoon and scrutinised the Enquirer’s report that Guy’s mother was denying that there was trouble in paradise. “They’re just jealous that some people can have a happy marriage. Such bad karma!” she pronounced.
Of course, shortly after came the official announcement that the Ritchies were splitting up.
For a few days, Saffy was convinced it was a late April Fools day joke and refused to believe a word she read in US Weekly. Even Amanda, normally so unflappable, had the same wide-eyed wild look that Miss Venezuela normally has a split second after she’s been announced Miss Universe.
“How did that happen?” Saffy asked.
Sharyn was triumphant. “You see, lah! Yahoo was right!” Saffy told her that if she kept this up, she was going to be pushed down the nearest flight of stairs and then struck off the Christmas card list.
Barney Chen, who’s always had a major crush on Guy, announced that he was buying plane tickets to London. “I know it’s probably blasphemous to steal the Goddess's husband, but I think I just might have a chance with him!” he growled happily. “I’ve always had my doubts about that marriage!”
“How could you? Poor Lourdes!” Amanda cried.
Our best friend Karl, who’s been unhappily married to the unlovely Marsha for years, says he wishes he had to the guts to get divorced. “I don’t think Marsha will let me,” he said the other night after listening to Saffy and Amanda mourn about the end of an era.
“I could push her down the stairs,” offered Saffy, who’s never liked Marsha. “It’s a little crowded at the bottom right now, but I’m sure I could make room.”
“Seriously,” Amanda said. “If Madonna, with all her fame and money, can’t make a marriage work, what hope do the rest of us have?”
That night, she programmed her iPod to play ‘Vogue’ on reloop and popped a sleeping tablet.