I tried to go back to sleep, but my mind raced with pop culture drama. What drove them apart? Are they still in love? Why do I care? I'm in my thirties, spending any energy on a celebrity couple feels regressive. And yet, I'm obsessed. Despite being the benefactors of young wealth and natural talent, I like their stories. Pete’s dad was a firefighter, a hero who died in 9/11, and two years ago, a mass murderer attacked an Ariana Grande concert in England. It makes sense to me that they found each other, they're famous and have a lot in common. Their union was a victory for our generation, a hope thriving against the ceaseless heartbreak of life, they found kindred spirits in each other, it was mathematical, or written in the stars. A celebrity couple with a modern day twist of trauma, and I was rooting for them.
This summer, with last nights makeup and a stupid grin, they looked so happy strolling around New York City together. Two people against the odds not fearing the odds, taking foggy Instagram pictures, posting dumb content, fearless and mocking, reminding me of the fun in foolishness. Young artists with a past and future, flirting captions, smooching like kittens, cooing candidly about their situation, too amped up to be calculated, and doing interviews. Their love story was this generation’s Tom Cruise on Oprah’s couch, but we believed them more than Tom Cruise, we saw the truth of love in their PDA spectacle.
And then it all crumbled. Faster than expected. Where did it all go wrong?
I've made the same mistakes with love and the internet. It’s not that I forget how contrite the internet makes me, it’s that, over and over again, I'm fooled by love. We stalk online, move too fast when it finally happens, getting into and then quickly out of relationships on Facebook. Deleting photos of last seasons passions, a revisionist history of our heart; we think we learn from our mistakes but never do. Someone always comes along at a particular time when you're in the right mood, and an alchemy of connection rewires your perspective, makes you think the rules don’t apply to you anymore. This love will work, I’ve been waiting for it. My life begins now with this person brought to me by fate. I think they, like me, were tricked by love and punished by the internet. Infatuation blinded common sense, now Ariana and Pete are waking up from a love stupor, facing the consequences of living in the moment.
All is fair in love and war, even though that's obviously not true. Nothing is fair, especially in love and war, and I suppose that's how far I'll take it. It's three am. I'm going to sleep. I hope I never need to think about this again.