Traditionalists who believe that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman no doubt are heartened today by the sudden announcement that Jennifer Lopez apparently walked down the aisle over the weekend for the third time. And no, I don’t mean she did it for the third time this weekend, although with J. Lo I can understand how a misunderstanding like that can get started.
However unintentionally, Lopez is single-handedly keeping the institution viable and relevant in our society. She is telling all those folks out there with old-fashioned notions, all those women with hope chests (real or fake) and all those dashing young gentlemen walking on air, that they too can find matrimonial bliss. Of course, you may have to take a few stabs at it, and be willing to endure a courtship that can sometimes last for several weeks. But by golly, it’s out there.
J. Lo married salsa superstar Marc Anthony on Saturday in a small ceremony at her home after the two dated for less than six months. They started seeing each other shortly after her breakup with Ben Affleck. When J. Lo and Ben were together, they became synonymous with celebrity excess, so much so that the tandem was identified by the media as “Bennifer.” Anthony and Lopez kept a much lower profile, presumably because the prospect of being known as “Jarc” or “Mennifer” might have gotten the couple off to a rocky start.
And being together is what it’s all about, right? Millions of young ladies dream the storybook dream of donning the wedding train, although it seems to me that J. Lo’s wedding train sure makes a lot of stops. In 1997, she married a waiter named Ojani Noa. She divorced him and then in 2001 wedded dancer Cris Judd. She divorced him. Then she became engaged to Affleck, but broke that off.
It reminds me of a “Seinfeld” episode when Jerry argues with a rental car agent, telling her, “It’s not enough to take the reservation, you also have to hold the reservation.” In J. Lo’s life, you might be tempted to say, “It’s not enough to make the commitment, you also have to keep the commitment.”
But you would be wrong.
Because in this holiest of bonds between a man and a woman, this divine coupling of bride and groom, the important thing is just to give it shot. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. You just move on with your life. There are plenty of other fish in the sea. Maybe there’s somebody at work you’ve had your eye on.
Actually, traditionalists will be quick to inform you that even though they use the word “vows” in their nuptials, there’s always some wiggle room. For instance, Anthony himself recently split from his wife, Dayanara Torres, who was Miss Universe in 1993. They had been married for four years, and have two sons. She filed for divorce four months ago in Florida. Anthony and Lopez have been dating for about six months. If you look closely, you can see some overlap here. I understand artists in the music business often engage in what they call “sampling,” but Marc might have been pushing it here.
There is a fear that Jenny From the Block has been around the block a few too many times, and eventually it will catch up with her. All of these relationships, all of these marriages, all of these celebrity men, may have had a detrimental effect on her career. Personally, I don’t think so. I believe a good, strong, healthy marriage is what this young lady needs most. Just look what it did for Halle Berry.
What Lopez should do is refrain from collaborating with Anthony on celluloid. She just brings too much baggage to Hollywood. Her entourage actually brings it, but it’s the same thing.
A Spanish-language remake of “Gigli,” for instance, should be avoided at all costs. Anything that resembles the storylines, characters or backdrops of “Maid in Manhattan,” “Enough” and “Angel Eyes” might tear this union asunder. Musically, though, I would urge them to sing together and appear together. It would send a message of joy, not to mention rake in gobs of loot. And that will be important. I realize both are world-famous pop stars worth millions, but divorce lawyers cost a lot of money, not to mention settlements.
More Entertainment stories
Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts
In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...
- Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
- See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
- Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
- 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom
- Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts
I have to admit, I feel a little sadness for those left behind. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs dated J. Lo for two years, but she dropped him like an old doo-rag. What I liked about Diddy — actually, he was Puffy back then — what I liked about Puffy is his small-town, gentlemanly ways. When J. Lo went out to a nightclub with Puffy, for instance, you knew he would protect her. You had the feeling she was safe. Everybody else in the club was in danger, but she was safe. All right, so an occasional round or two would discharge, and maybe a civilian would take one in the leg. It gave you a warm feeling knowing that a man loves his woman so much, he was willing to re-load for her.
Then there was Ben. He was a nice kid. But he wasn’t the homebody J. Lo needs. Ben wanted to party with his buddy, Matt Damon, watch Red Sox games, shoot movies and generally be free of the kind of entanglements that can feel suffocating to a famous young actor. He turned out to be a poor match for Jen. She needs a traditional husband. She needs someone who can clean leaves out of her gutter. She needs a guy she can go to Home Depot with to pick out ground cover. She needs a partner she can try recipes on. And darn it, she’s going to keep trying until she finds him.
And what of former spouses Noa and Judd? At this rate, they can wait for a few years and enlist a few more J. Lo husbands and eventually file a class-action divorce suit against her.
Meanwhile, Marc Anthony might just be the fellow she needs, at least for now. The fact that the two tied the knot in a private ceremony at her home in L.A. with only the closest of friends and relatives in attendance reveals solid, homespun, Midwestern values, even though both hail from New York City.
This marriage has “forever” written all over it. In pencil.
Michael Ventre is a Los Angeles based writer and a regular contributor to MSNBC.com.
© 2013 msnbc.com. Reprints