Celebrity Divorces: Emotionally Invested, or Overly Involved?

photo of danny devito and rhea perlman pictures  There has been a rash of celebrity breakups. This is nothing new, but the ones that have happened lately have gotten to me. First up, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett—they were comedy’s most adorable couple. You barely heard about them. They kept their private lives private. They had two little kids, two hit shows, and now … a broken marriage.

Next up, Rhea Pearlman and Danny DeVito, together for 30 years they recently announced their divorce. Now, I didn’t care as much about this one as I did about Will and Amy—until I heard the reason. Danny DeVito, the (at best) five foot, overweight star, apparently … allegedly … is a cheater. Are you kidding me? I believe the term the word was “womanizer”. Oh yeah, multiple girls. Who are these girls? Who doesn’t know that he’s married? Who fawns over Danny DeVito? You know what? I loved Batman Returns too, but I’m not about to drop my knickers for Danny freaking DeVito (who played the Penguin). Also, many articles stated that DeVito isn’t acting on “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”—he really is that creeper guy. We all saw him sloshed on The View, I mean really … step it up, ladies.

All of this had made me start to worry about who’s next. One of my favorite authors is David Sedaris, whose been with Hugh Hamrick for over twenty years. I immediately went to Google and put in “David Sedaris Hugh” the second suggestion down was: “David Sedaris Hugh breakup” I panicked. I couldn’t click it …but I had to (they’re still together, thank Buddha).

That’s when I realized I am way too involved in these people’s lives. Why do I care? about this? I (regretfully) don’t know David Sedaris (but I’m working on it). I have never met Rhea Pearlman, Danny DeVito, Will Arnett or Amy Poehler. Their personal lives should have zero impact on me, so why do I have that twinge of sadness whenever I type their names?

Oh, I know why…because I am saturated in media versions of their lives. I’m not sad that Will Arnett is divorcing … I’m upset that Gob Bluth and Chris from Up All Night are divorcing. Meanwhile I have my own real life relationship that I should be looking at. Then I noticed that whenever my real life relationship is having issues I compare it to the relationships I watch on TV or see in movies. Well, clearly this guy is wrong … he is not the Clarence to my Alabama, the Dan to my Roseanne, or the Harry to my Sally.

This has all been insanely eye-opening for me. I need to step back and realize while I would totally marry John Goodman (doesn’t he seem like he’d be the best hugger?), he’s not real. I would marry a version I see on TV of John Goodman. I don’t live on TV (yet) so it’s time to come back to reality. Starting now, I will not live in fantasy—my life will be rooted in reality!

But seriously, if David Sedaris and Hugh break up I will need to be on a 24 hour watch. Okay, okay … clearly, I still have some work to do.

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Question: Can you love two people at the same time?

photo of Chris Rihanna and Karreuche pictures
There’s a quote that I really love, “If you love two people at the same time, choose the second. Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second.” That’s a great quote by Johnny Depp, not the world’s best source on relationships, but still a really poignant quote.

I bring this up because Chris Brown taped himself (then released the drunken tape of himself, classy) saying he loves both Rihanna and his now-ex, Karreuche Tran, and then wondered if it’s possible to love two people at once. Firstly, I don’t think Chris Brown is capable of love, so the fact that he is the reason I’m writing this sucks. But let’s look at the bigger issue: seriously – can you love two people at the same time?

I’m not going to pretend I know the answer, but I have a theory. The theory is, “no”. You can have feelings, you can have an attraction, you can have a desire, for someone else but I don’t think it’s possible to love two people the same way and really that is the question he poses. I think you can love multiple people; I love at least five people in different ways and none of them as much as I love my dogs.

I do not think you can love two people in a romantic fashion at the same time. You have to love one more than the other. I’ve been on both sides of this issue. I’ve been so in love with someone that no one else existed, and I’ve loved someone and known that there was so much better out there. Feelings change and grow and fade and some people stay in your heart forever, but not equal. We are not equal when it comes to love. But maybe I’m wrong, tell me what you think–can you love two people, in a romantic way, at the same time?

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Persecution Complex

photo of christianity pictures
Your religious liberties are not in any danger from the government.

Ahem. I should clarify: If you live in the United States, your religious liberties are not in any danger from the federal* government.

I am not going to list other countries in which individual religious liberties are oppressed on a daily basis. If religious freedom in the US were “under attack,” as some keep insisting, then the fact that Iranian Christians cannot meet in churches or the fact that China sometimes uses tanks against unwanted religious groups would not lessen any such “attacks” within the US.

What a number of the groups who are claiming that the US government (or President Obama) is oppressing their rights are really saying is that President Obama is giving slightly less special treatment to Judeo-Christian beliefs than usual. That is not oppression. That’s acknowledging, from time to time, that there are millions of adherents of religions other than Christianity—other than any Abrahamic tradition—in the United States and all around the world.

I believe that it was The Daily Show that said: “Christians: a long-oppressed majority.” Because a persecution complex has been a part of Christianity’s modern political outlook for about a century, when increased global travel and trade brought Christian Europe and Christian North America into contact with Eastern religious traditions.

I am a very devout Pagan, but I have no desire to oppress Christianity. Even if I did, I would have no idea how to do so. If I were US President, I wouldn’t know how to. It would be difficult to even begin oppressing an overwhelming majority that is also a majority in both major political parties.

There is an even better quote from The Daily Show‘s Samantha Bee that I think really embodies the unthreatened dominance of Christianity in American society:

Christmas: It’s the only religious holiday that’s also a federal holiday. That way, Christians can go to their services and everyone else can stay home and reflect on the true meaning of Separation of Church and State.

To use a trite expression, Samantha Bee really hits the nail on the head. I was not raised in a religious household, and while I enjoyed receiving presents for secular Christmas (which I call “Santamas”), I was resentful in elementary school that Christmas was such a big deal. I was resentful that there were classmates who could all break out into “Silent Night” and other religious songs that I had never heard. I was not upset that I had not been raised in a Christian household—I was upset that it mattered that I had not been raised in a Christian household.

If the US government were forcing women to take birth-control pills against their religious convictions, that would be oppression of beliefs. Forcing employers to cover all necessary health costs is not oppression. The government forcing someone to marry someone else is oppression. Treating two citizens who love each other but happen to be of the same sex with the same rights and dignity is not oppression. The government banning any mention or celebration of one of your religious holidays would certainly be a violation of your religious liberties and rights to free speech. Someone at the check-out wishing you an inclusive “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas” is not only not an attack on your beliefs, but is refreshing for those of us who are more than a little weary of people assuming that we celebrate Christmas.

Also, here is a tongue-in-cheek “quiz” on the Huffington Post about whether or not your religious liberties are being oppressed.

*I have heard of cases in which certain religious minorities are obstructed when trying to obtain registered certification to be a minister and officiate weddings in states that require registration for these things. These are, I believe, local and isolated incidents, likely born of ignorance or bigotry, rather than signs of a massive conspiracy to undermine adherents of all faiths.

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Daddy Issues

photo of gregory peck pictures
I’ve always been a “guy’s girl,” and never a “girly girl”. I’m a feminist, but I have a really hard time respecting women as a group. As a group, I find women can be catty, needy, manipulative, and tend to undermine their intelligence and their strength far too often. There are exceptions to this rule (Michelle Obama, Audrey Hepburn, My Mother, My editor, etc.), but as a whole, I’m not a huge fan of “women.”  The reason I’m telling you this is because I’ve always been this way. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve found the women of my family to be silly and somewhat frivolous. I never wanted to go play hopscotch or have my hair braided with my girl cousins – I wanted to go in the living room and yell at the football game with my uncles.

Men, as a group, have always been logical, rational, pragmatic, and relatable to me.  I love men. I love everything about them. The way they can be so aloof, the way they can be emotionless, the way people lean on them, the way the handle themselves. Nothing is sexier to me than Gregory Peck, Brando, Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, Hunter S. Thompson, and James Dean. Men that were real men, I just … I could get drunk off the subtle mannerisms and movements of men. But recently, that’s all changed.

I’m really disappointed in men, and angry. I think I’m really angry. I’ve done the leg work on this … I’m not just making a blanketed statement because I’m mad at my boyfriend or because some guy was rude to me. Men are disappointments. They’re lacking. They’re simple. They’re selfish. They’re predictable. They’re all the same. These are the facts of my interactions with men.  I’m not blaming men for this; in fact, I think I’m mostly to blame for this. I have really low expectations of men and when they meet those expectations I become disappointed. But who’s to say I didn’t set them up to fail myself?

I was telling a “friend” that I thought I had made a mistake pitching this article. I told him that I didn’t want to write it because when I started to write it I was forced to deal with the real reasons I feel this way. He asked what those were and I dodged the answer and somehow got him to tell me what he thought the answer could be. This is his take on why, lately, I have issues with men, “You are not surrounding yourself with people that help you feel better about the things you dislike about yourself and appreciate the things you do like about yourself. I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for in a man, but you’re not finding it, so you’re disappointed.” That’s one way to look at this. It’s probably an accurate way to look at this. When I think about what caused this new dislike of the male creature, it stems back to a horrible cliché moment in my life and I can’t believe I’m going to put this in writing and allow it to go on the Internet.

This anger and disappointment was born from the fact that I thought I had found the one guy, outside of my Dad, who is probably the most perfect male on the planet, who was going to be different—and he wasn’t.  There’s the truth in black and white type.

When I was ten, my biological father broke my heart when he turned out to be a bad guy. At ten years old I had decided that men were not to be trusted, that they were princes when they wanted to be, but mostly were weak, evil, monsters out for themselves. When …

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