I've had my head so buried in classroom preparation this past week that a certain news item slipped past my careful notice. As a result, I was confounded by the question I received as I went into work this morning about "Mister Family Man." At first, I tried to make some connection to Fox's animated TV show, but that didn't seem right, since that's "Family Guy" not "Mister Family Man."
I must have been standing there for a little too long with my jaw slack, because all was suddenly made plain for me: "The Boss is getting a divorce." Show biz marriage on the rocks, I know it well - but Bruce Springsteen? As a member of the rabid fan base that attempts to account for the Bruce's every move, I didn't see this coming. Or maybe I chose not to see it coming.
A few months back, I was getting my Springsteen mojo on as I looked forward to the Seeger Sessions show for which I felt lucky to have tickets. I ignored the Internet jabber about the relative lameness of this particular tour ("Gee, I can't wait to hear 'Froggie Went A'Courtin' live..."). Then I got an e-mail from a friend - a friend who has been telling me for fifteen years that Bruce has "lost his edge." She suggested in her message that the Boss might be taking Botox. I looked at the photo she enclosed and dismissed the wrinkle-free forehead as a show of the fierce intensity that we have all come to treasure at sold-out show after sold-out show.
The Seeger Session Show wasn't sold out. People were walking up to the box office the night of the show to get seats - good ones. A lot of people didn't go to that show, including Mrs. Springsteen, Patti Scialfa. "She's probably getting the kids ready for another year at school. They're so lucky to have such a functional relationship in the midst of all this fame."
Or not. So, we keep waiting for some proof. John Michael Karr may be a murderer or a media slut. Floyd Landis might be an inspirational story of triumph over adversity or another steroid case in a yellow jersey. We don't have proof. Does that mean that I'll be any less chagrined if it turns out that Bruce Springsteen is a philanderer? We got "Tunnel of Love" out of the last divorce, maybe he's just looking for some fresh tunes. Like the man said, "It's so hard to be a saint in the city."