I was just reading a profile of actress Helena Bonham Carter (talk about a woman with a dark side), pegged to her new movie Alice In Wonderland. In the story, the writer alludes to the fact that Carter lives in a place that is two houses down from that of her husband, Alice director Tim Burton. Their children occupy the house in between the spouses. They're not the first celebrity couple with such an unusual living arrangement: When director Woody Allen was married to actress Mia Farrow (who worked with him on movies like Hannah and Her Sisters and The Purple Rose of Cairo) they lived in separate residences on opposite sides of Central Park.* Sarah Jessica Parker and her long-time man, Matthew Broderick, were talking about living in separate parts of New York last year--she in my beloved Brooklyn, and he in Manhattan--but as far as I can tell, they gave up on that. Beyond those ones, there aren't too many modern-day prominent examples of these kinds of relationships. Nonetheless, they have their own acronym: LAT's (for "living-apart together").
I have to admit: If I myself ever manage to get into a long-term relationship ... I think I'd prefer a living together apart situation. In my imagining, it would be ideal if Mr. Maura Kelly had an apartment in the same neighborhood as I would--around the corner, or down the street from each other. We'd see each other just about every day. But we'd also have our own places to retreat to when we needed space or a place to concentrate or mope or whatever. Maybe the idea is appealing to me because my biggest source of anxiety, when I was a kid, was my father coming home late from work, which he always did; I was convinced it was because he hated returning because I depressed him too much. So, you know, maybe the fact that I'm into this LAT business is just a sign I'm psychologically maladjusted. But ... there are arguments to be made in favor of such residential arrangements. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that.
(i'm straight but i kinda have the hots for Helena Bonham Carter anyway.)
What's your opinion on the matter? Would you be into this kind of thing? Do you think I'm nuts--and do you think it's no coincidence that Mia and Woody divorced, and there were rumors that SJP and Matthew were going to do the same around the time when they were discussing their unusual plans? Is anyone who would agree to an LAT actually a serious commitment-phobe who would have a richer relationship experience if she just got over her issues and went for the full-on co-habitation experience?
*That did not stop Woody from having a then-secret sexual relationship with Farrow's adopted daughter, who was 22 when the affair came to light. But I digress.