Everyone Is Divorced

There was a momentary pause in Kardashian Mania last night when it was quietly announced that Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard were also splitting up. No one wants to talk about it because their marriage lasted 73 weeks, so it’s like, who cares? Might as well be Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward at this point. I think the only married couple that is even still together is Prince William and Kate Middleton. Oh, and of course Doug Hutchinson and Courtney Stodden, America’s Sweethearts. (Did you see how he dressed up as her for Halloween? Those two! Making it work!) My favorite part about the Kim Kardashian divorce so far (good start to what will be a great sentence, I’m sure) was how Kathie Lee Gifford wouldn’t shut up on the Today Show about how she was invited to the Wedding of the Century, or whatever, just so braggy and name-droppy and awful, and then on yesterday’s show she gossiped about how Khloe came up to her at the reception and told her it wouldn’t last. Like, even in the dissolution of the relationship, she still has to one up everyone and somehow try to show off that she knew their marriage was in trouble first? Cool person. You heard it here first: Kathie Lee Gifford is a really cool person and seems wonderful. American Treasure. And my second favorite thing about the Kim Kardashian divorce is the letter she has written for her fans in which she says that she “hopes you respect my courage.” Holy moly. Can you say that?! I did not know you were allowed to say that. That is quite a thing to say.

Obviously, getting divorced is very personal (Hahahha, “Obviously, getting divorced is very personal,” Gabe for Observation Of The Year!), and there’s a part of you that wants to say that none of this is any of our business and that people shouldn’t spend so much time chewing over the misfortune of other people. But then you also remember how much time people spend thinking and talking about celebrity marriages. Is that really that much better? (And here I actually think the Kardashian/Deschanel split makes this whole conversation more interesting, because even if the Kardashian Dream Wedding was such utterly intrusive and obnoxious bullshit that none of “us” cared about, I would place money that a pretty decent proportion of the Videogum readership knew about Deschanel’s marriage to Ben Gibbard because they clicked a link at some point. Not the same thing, to be sure, but parallels abound.) The point that I’m trying to make is that if marriage and divorce are two sides of a coin, then one is not more valid for discussion than the other, even if the marriage side is more hopeful and joyous (in theory, again not talking about this Kardashian business per se because COME ON). I’ve started reading David Rakoff’s most recent book of essays, Half Empty, which is about depression and unhappiness, and in the very first essay he talks about an idea that I’ve run across before that I find pretty compelling, which is basically about how we place so much value on the emotional state of happiness while we devalue unhappiness, when the reality is that they are just two emotional states we will all find ourselves experiencing in our lives and, even more importantly, that both can be motivators and both can be destructive. Although one is more “unpleasant,” they are actually equal, and it’s unrealistic and perhaps short-sighted to think that one is good and the other is bad. Does this mean we need to gossip about people’s divorces? I don’t know. But we’re going to no matter what, so maybe we should stop beating ourselves up. And it’s certainly no worse than gossiping about someone’s marriage, which by our own estimation is no less of a private matter that is none of our business. So have at it, fellas.