Overheard in a supermarket checkout line the other day:
“I knew that was going to bust up,” says one woman, looking at a gossip magazine with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on the cover.
“Oh yeah,” replies another woman.
“He never should have left her,” the first woman says, referring to Pitt’s first wife, Jennifer Aniston.
They express some sympathy for Aniston and move on to other subjects.
I don’t know why this conversation bothered me. I don’t know Brad Pitt. I don’t know Angelina Jolie, for that matter. I don’t know their kids, or their friends, or the people Pitt worked with in New Orleans.
Perhaps their marriage was doomed. To look at the gossip magazines — who make their living off crap like this — you’d certainly think so, going all the way back in 2004-05 when they met.
And I also know that schadenfreude over stars’ misery is as common as air kisses at a Hollywood party, and Lord knows I’ve partaken of it. I understand the fascination with celebrities, who appear to be living the lives of attention and wealth that many of us desire, and thus I understand the secret glee when they fall off their pedestals and are revealed as being “just like us,” as the Us magazine feature says.
But I can’t find any joy in divorce, even among really famous people I don’t know. Maybe they’re shrugging it off as long overdue; maybe they’re in anguish. Either way, I’m not going to wag a finger and say, “I told you so.”
OK, I got that off my chest. Now, has something happened to the Kardashians?