I know, I’m sorry. It’s all been said before and we can all yawn over the collective tabloid word-vomit of celebrity relationship-fatigue that is yapping on about Brad n’ Ange, Posh n’ Becks, Jen n’ whoever it is she finally married, but I couldn’t resist getting my two pence in, two weeks or whatever after the news broke. The dream is over. The golden couple are no more. The grim sound of the relationship death knell is upon us.
Brangelina, it’s over. *Sniffs*
I haven’t felt this disappointed by the demise of a celebrity relationship since Katie Price and Peter Andre split up and it was on the ACTUAL SIX O CLOCK NEWS.
“No!” I cried, letting out an audible gasp as the terrible tidings were broken to me by a colleague at work. It cannot be. Brangelina were my hope; my last hope that maybe, just maybe, relationships can survive six children, two high-powered careers in the film industry and occasional jaunts to war zones for a bit of humanitarian work.
Just like Posh and Becks, I imagined that Brangelina were the perfect celebrity couple; the parents we all wanted to have but never did. Rich, beautiful, achingly cool and apparently quite liberal in their parenting styles (I have spotted dyed hair on at least one of the sprogs). And yet clearly things were not so perfect behind the Hollywood smiles.
And it got me thinking; what is the perfect relationship? Is there really any such thing as happy ever after? Well, obviously no, just a randomly plotted ending in the middle of someone’s real life story. All relationships end, and those that don’t end with death, right? Cheerful stuff, those happily ever afters. The reaction of one of my colleagues to my exhortation upon hearing the news that I thought they would be together forever was to simply scoff and say, “like they were both together forever with their previous husbands and wives.”
I was clearly being unrealistic in my expectation that the fairytale is supposed to last, that even under the Hollywood microscope, two people could grow old together and live a happy and fulfilled family life.
I have said many times that being single is underrated, and I am perfectly happy; but like, it seems, most other human beings, I do dream of that fairytale ending. I have-like most of us whether we admit to it or not-been raised on a diet of Disney and romcom fluff, and I project my expectations onto the relationships of others I have never met, in order to live under the illusion that some people do, against all odds, have the perfect partnership, and are living in a state of pure matrimonial harmony.
And that’s why we do it. That’s why we wallow in shock when celebrity couplings we thought were rock-solid suddenly appear to come unstuck. That’s why we perpetually see Jennifer Aniston as wronged woman and spurned wife rather than the strong and perfectly together Hollywood superstar she probably is in reality. We like to believe the tales that we weave around their lives. They make our mundane ones so much more interesting, and they make us believe that we too, could have the fairytale. All we need to do is lose a stone, star in a blockbuster movie, get a couture designer to give us our red carpet dresses for free and single-handedly save the world. Easy, right?
And if we can’t do that, well, it doesn’t matter. Even Hollywood-perfect couples don’t always go the distance.
Oh well, at least it means we get to loiter around the magazine aisles with bated breath, waiting to see who they shack up with next. Vial of blood, anyone?
A version of this post first appeared on the website Meet Other Mums