It’s always sad when a multibillionaire’s marriage breaks up. Not because the marriage failed, although, yeah, whatever, but because the super-rich are so well-insulated there’s very little chance we’ll ever know the true story of what went wrong. In the case of “Billinda” as I like to call Bill and Melinda Gates, I’m pretty sure we can rule out at least one of what marriage counselors call “the big 3” causes of divorce—money, sex and arguing about whether or not “he” should put those microchips in everyone’s brain during the pandemic. Sorry, I meant to say “children.”
When Bill, 65, and Melinda, 56, announced recently they were splitting up after 27 years of marriage, I felt what can best be described as “nothing at all.” Sure, it’s always sad when a marriage ends but, and I hope this won’t hurt the feelings of any of our billionaire readers out there, it’s not all THAT sad. For starters, it’s unlikely either one will never find love again. Melinda won’t need to get back in the game by borrowing a girlfriend’s guest pass to Planet Fitness. She won’t have to beg her mama to babysit the rug rats if she drinks a little too much Riunite (on ice, that’s nice) and swipes right.
Similarly, Bill Gates won’t have to fret about finding love because women are always impressed by a man who has been a good father by all accounts (this is important because see “children” above), who appears to be genuinely kind and who looks just fine in a nice pair of khakis from Kohl’s.
Also, he has $146 billion.
Don’t misunderstand; the Gateses are both admirably generous with their fortune and deserve our praise for their commitment to those in need. Billenda’s decades-long commitment to fighting poverty, disease and inequity around the world by building partnerships that drive change while caring for the planet by developing alternative energy initiatives and spurring innovation to save the environment…well, let me just say I actually don’t know about any of that stuff but the chip in my head that was inserted while getting my “Gates Death Vaccine” made me write it. All hail Billenda!!
As much as I admire them, the whole “enough money to not only burn a wet mule but an entire barnyard full of ’em” keeps me from getting too worked up about it either way.
Because, despite what “Us Weekly” insists in its popular “They’re Just Like Us!” feature which shows Famous People doing ordinary things (think Ben Stiller getting a boil lanced, Kylie Jenner sneering at an old person, Reese Witherspoon yet again distracting someone so she can eat the last devilled egg…) the rich are nothing like the rest of us.
I felt this same Total and Complete Lack of Empathy when another Seattle billionaire power couple divorced back in 2019. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos divorced Mackenzie Scott after 26 years of marriage and paid her $38 billion to move along.
While most people would think good for her, I have to say it’s hardly a badge of honor for someone to want to be done with you so much they give you $38 billion. Then again, this is couch change for Bezos, whose net worth is $195 billion so I guess it’s all relative. Also, don’t you just know he stipulated her settlement bucks would be delivered in a maddeningly random manner with the first chunk arriving in 2 business days and the others “out for shipment.” Also, just a guess here, the first delivery will arrive in pristine condition (although in an unnecessarily large box with too much planet-destroying packing material) and the others arriving much later in a too-small envelope with the shredded stuffing leaking out like a beloved childhood teddy.
Yeah, I may have overthought all this.