Keeping up with celebrity gossip is not one of my top priorities. In fact, it is just this week, thanks to his movie-related media blitz, that I am able to correctly identify Justin Bieber. (I’d been thinking he and Justin Timberlake were the same person.)
So I did not realize until last night, while waiting in line at the Rite Aid checkout counter (do you not envy my life of glamour?) that Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky, whose interfaith wedding kept Jewish bloggers like me busy all summer long and, no doubt, served as an economic stimulus plan for much of New York State, may be experiencing marital problems.
Or maybe not: a quick Google News search turns up hundreds of (publicist-planted?) articles insisting the newlyweds are happy as can be.
Nonetheless, according to the reputable Star magazine I purchased (which also features a none-too-flattering photo of the pregnant and about-to-be intermarried Israel-born starlet Natalie Portman along with more advertisements for weight-loss products than you can begin to imagine), things came to a head right after a Christmas Eve service at the Clinton family church.
Uh oh, you’re thinking. Done in by the notorious December dilemma! Did they even celebrate Chanukah?! According to the Star, the conflict is not religious but that she wants to have kids and he wants to be a carefree ski instructor. (Memo to Marc Mezvinsky: Jews are not supposed to become ski bums. The Torah forbids it.)
Really, if the two split up it will not only be a shame for them, but terrible PR for the rest of us interfaith couples, besieged as we are with claims that we are more likely to divorce.
A more inspiring intermarried couple role model (at least in terms of longevity) may be found in the New York Times. Apparently, and thanks to my friend Alix Wall for drawing my attention to this, the organizer of a Muslim speed-dating conclave (modeled on Jewish speed-dating programs, with some JDate research thrown in) is a Muslim man who has been married to a Jewish woman for 31 years!
According to the Times, Jamal Mohsin, a Pakistani-American financial adviser who started the program because he “was tired of being asked by Muslim clients if he knew anyone suitable for their children,” met his own wife Marilyn more than three decades ago at a Westchester mall.
Marilyn’s Orthodox Jewish family disowned her, but in the past two years they have begun to patch things up. The article doesn’t say whether the couple has any children or if they practice Islam or Judaism, although I’m guessing Islam because the article describes Marilyn, a geriatric social worker, as blending right in at the speed-dating conclave, wearing a traditional Pakistani outfit.
“I don’t know what our secret is,” she told The Times of their apparently happy marriage, “but we’ve been doing it for 31 years.”
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