Saturday, October 3, 2009

Belated girlfriend advice for Chris Evert

When I first heard that Chris Evert was marrying Greg Norman, I found myself wishing that she and I were best girlfriends. Every woman needs a girlfriend. And not just any girlfriend, but the kind who will tell you straight up that she thinks that you’re probably about to make a spectacular mistake. Or at least who has the guts to tell you that this is what she thinks, even when you are certain that she is completely wrong.

And I may indeed be wrong on this. It may be that Greg Norman was completely ready to make Chris Evert his second wife, a fact that he announced mere months after separating from his first wife of 25 years. Apparently he was really into Chris.

But if I were Chrissy’s girlfriend, I would have asked her if she had lost her damn mind. I would have told her that I don’t believe that a few months is enough time to clear your psyche of a 25-year marriage. To get over such a lengthy marriage, even if you were desperately unhappy, in fact especially if you were desperately unhappy, you’d probably need a few years. And some psychotherapy to help clear your head. Some time out for self-reflection before jumping into another legally binding contract.

And if were Chris Evert’s best girlfriend, I would have reminded her that her own marital history was already so checkered that she herself could probably benefit from some time on the couch before jumping into such a life-altering decision. And yes that does sound kind of judgy, but all good girlfriends have the courage to be judgy, and not behind your back either, but to your face.

Greg “The Shark” Norman announced his separation from first wife, Laura Andrassy, in May 2006. Evert divorced her husband, Andy Hill, in December 2006. By September 2007, Norman had announced that he was going to marry Evert. Somewhere within that short window, he had found time to go through a bitter and costly divorce while also dating and proposing to Evert. And If I were Chris’ best girlfriend, I would have asked her if she wasn’t concerned that they might both be on the rebound.

One account I read claimed that Evert and her ex-husband had been best friends for years with Norman and Andrassy, their families often taking trips together. Another insinuated that Evert and Norman may have been doing the nasty well before they even left their respective spouses. Chrissy as the other woman? !Escándalo!

If I were Chrissy’s best girlfriend, I would have told her to consider slowing it down until her own and her new beau’s heads were completely clear. Over a triple espresso no fat no foam latte, I would have cautioned her that it is probably not a good idea to get involved with a man who is transitioning from a woman with whom he has shared so many meaningful years. And I would have advised her that for herself too, the risk she was taking was that she may not so much have been going towards Norman, as moving away from her ex. And that rarely ever works out, for anyone.

And I may have been right, because after a mere 15 months of marital bliss, Chris Evert and Greg Norman have announced their separation, issuing a statement that they "will remain friends and supportive of one another's family”. As yet there has been no talk of divorce.

One of the things that always struck me about the Norman-Evert coupling was the frankness of their PDAs. I would have expected such juvenile behavior from lovers in their 20s. Even 30s. I can understand secret ass-grabbing from lovers in their 40s. But Evert and Norman sometimes behaved as if they were teenagers. They seemed barely able to keep their hands off each other. Only teenagers jump into pools at a wedding!

So if I were Evert’s best girlfriend, I would have told her to sit her ass down and start thinking with her head and not her punany. I would have reminded her that the whole American Sweetheart deal that she enjoyed during the Jimmy Connors phase was long over and that she is now a grown-ass 55-year-old woman with three children. And as a good girlfriend I would have told her to come to her damn senses, stat.


Duey Evans said...

something about your willingness to speak you mind so unabashed publicly makes me believe you may have already done so in some meaningful manner privately

tennischick said...

i assure you that i haven't. i do not know any of the players in this drama. i just know my own drama and would hope, in a similar situation, to have a girlfriend who loved me enough to be even more honest.