Sunday, January 24, 2010

Savage Brangelina Glee

"Love may be blind, but the neighbors ain't."

I hated Brangelina like they lived down the street from me and left a sofa on the porch and a car up on blocks in the front yard -- like they were awful neighbors who actually disrupted my life in some way -- I hated them like I knew them. I don't really know why.

Maybe because he left his first wife for her about the same time I got cheated on -- and I had heard all the same rationalizations the two of them made in the press. ("Oh, nothing really happened until I was out of that marriage," and "that relationship was already 'over" and "you know, no outsider can destroy a strong relationship. It was probably already broken." OK. Well start with defining "nothing." All I know is, in my case, the Piece on the Side knew an awful lot about my personal, private life and that it was the result of endless long discussions the two of them had had about me. I knew this, because he had a bad case of "mentionitis" where he would compulsively drop her into the conversation, along the lines of, "well Shelly thought it'd be a good idea for your Mom to put some tea tree oil on those roses for the aphids." Now, there's nothing about my mother's flowers that would constitute a national secret, but everyday details about my Mother -- and her flowers -- were part of the quotidian intimacy that I shared with him, everyday. They were not this girl's business. She was not my friend. In fact, she was the theoretical girlfriend of a good buddy of mine -- and I thought even he was too good for her, and he was a Musician. These regular innocuous mentions were why I suspected he was cheating on me.

I didn't know it for sure til I walked in on the two of them in a restaurant, holding hands. Which I would argue was a thousand times worse than walking in on the two of them having sex, though I have friends who've been through both scenarios and disagree. Whether he did, or did not have actual physical intercourse involving direct penetration prior to that Sushi? I don't know. I don't care. I do know he cheated on me. Anything else is semantics and you can save it for your priest. The two of them sure ruined the California Roll for me for quite a few years.)

But this isn't about me of course.

I never liked Brad Pitt. I don't even think he's cute. I have no interest in pretty boys. I also think he's stupid, and it irritates me when people who are widely considered attractive develop complexes that involve them trying to convince the rest of the world they're smart too. His obsession with architecture? Please. Try community college first, and then tell me all about it. He knows about as much about architecture as I do -- which is precisely what I get from Dwell Magazine -- i.e., I appreciate it, and know what I like, but don't ask me to design your garage unless you're really not especially attached to your cars.

I liked him a lot less when he cheated on his wife. Once he started rubbing her nose in it (I got W Magazine at the time... I don't now), I hated him like he'd done it to my sister.

I didn't like Angelina Jolie either. Trust me, neuroses don't make you interesting or mysterious -- if they did, I'd have a PhD. Odd doesn't much bother me, but the adoption compulsion wore me out. Again, when people who are widely considered attractive try to convince the world they're deep too, it irritates me. Charity's a beautiful thing, of course, but it is literally, the least any of us can do. If you have more, do more, that's the basics of humanity -- it won't make me like you -- it's just the bare minimum. Stealing another girl's husband made me dislike her a little more intently -- again, I don't know why.

Maybe because my Dad left my Mom for another woman after 20+ years of marriage in a not-unusual bout of Middle-Aged Crazy following his first 40-something heart attack. That did not go well. For either of them. Marriages don't have to last forever -- as I pointed out -- but if my parents were having irreconcilable problems, the way I saw it, it was time to move out and move on. Not introduce a third party. My Mom moved out and moved on, and her second marriage has worked out reasonably successfully. Dad's: not so much. We get along ok with the third though.

So when the Brangelina Breakup news scrolled across The Twitter last night while my gay husband and I were curled up in bed watching Sam Shepard blow stuff up in Black Hawk Down -- momentarily interrupting my endless Rainman-like verbal cataloging of all the munitions and hardware ("the Stingers first went missing in Afghanistan, and it was later that RPGs became an equalizing force....") -- he asked me if I was experiencing a bout of Savage Glee.

I tried so hard not to.

Really, I did.

I know it's wrong to take delight in the misfortune of others no matter how reprehensible you might find them, and have both a Catholic and Karmic aversion to it (see also, not rubbing Anniston's nose in it).

So I just had to leave it to MichaelJansenMiller, "now that Brad has a beard, he no longer needs one."

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