Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes

Norman Scott/

Is it true that every single one of Tom Cruise's exes divorced him when they were 33? What's up with that?
—Cinders, Iowa, via the inbox

Yep: Nicole Kidman, Mimi Rogers, Katie Holmes—all of them split from the Hollywood bazillionaire at the same age. Specifically, all three of their divorces got going when they were 33, and were finalized when they were 34.

Go ahead and assign this fact as much mystical significance as you want, because plenty of other folk are...

Including numerologists such as Cassandra MacLeane.

MacLeane puts more emphasis on other stats, such as birthdays and names, but she does have some specific insight on the number 33.

"Some people think it's a master number," along with numbers 11 and 22, she says—figures that portend extra potential or aspiration. "There's a turning point there. It's considered to be a second growing-up."

(MacLeane notes that other numbers may be more interesting in this breakup. She says Cruise has two personal "cycles," one that turns over every six years and another that turns over every nine. "He's at the end of a cycle right now," she tells me. "I suspect he begins to lose interest" in romantic partners at the ends of cycles, she added.)

Other people are investing increasing meaning in 33 as well. Writer Jenny Sundel is crafting a book on she and others call a "Jesus year," because 33 was also the year that the Christian figure supposedly died. She herself went through a renewal at 33, selling all of her stuff and moving to Paris "with no plan," she says.

"I was looking around at my friends feeling this kind of mid-30s malaise," she tells me.  "You're not 35 yet, but you're already freaking out about that. I don't think 30 is the big freakout age anymore."

Instead, she concludes, it's coming closer to 33, when initial career goals have been met, but the fairy-tale beliefs of twentysomethings have largely faded.

"Maybe there's something to his age where something changes in you," Sundel says.

One thing is definitely likely to change in Katie's life, and methinks it's her bank account.

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