As I shuffled around in my “I hate mornings…. No, I don’t think you understand….I really hate mornings” state, willing my eyes to open while I sipped my Kona coffee, I gradually began to wake up.
I’m drying my hair, I’m reading the paper, but I’m not quite at the point where I’m ready to be bothered yet. At this point, I’m still trying to convince my body that it doesn’t actually take three hours to wake up. So here I am sitting in my zombie-like state at my computer and I get an immediate pop-up from an old friend on the East coast. He’s a good dude and usually very laid-back…never one to be chatty or gossipy, but when the window popped up, I could feel that the poor guy was practically bursting at the seams to tell me something. He just couldn’t wait….it’s like 6am PST and as soon as my computer boots up he’s in my face, “HEY! Guess what! I have some news. Want to hear?” I felt like a husband coming home after a long trip with the wife bombarding me at the door with myriad questions, problems and scenarios before I had even taken my coat off.
“Let me guess. Amy’s pregnant, you’re expecting.” “Well, yeah. She is.” “I knew it – that’s great! Congratulations.” But he didn’t seem that fazed with the whole baby thing – a new life coming into the world …you know, no big. There seemed to be something he was much more excited about. And I soon realized he was basking in the afterglow of a very rare type of ego stroke, which I like to call the EBBA (Ego Boost By Association.)
My friend blows his fuse like he’d been holding it in like a kindergartner on a sugar high. “Amy sat next to Brad Pitt at a bar on Superbowl Sunday!” I waited. “Is that the punch line?” I asked. “Yeah, that’s it.” Realizing I probably had the wrong reaction I explained that Brad Pitt never did anything for me — too white bread, middle of the bell curve. And I especially thought it strange that he seemed to morph into whatever woman he was dating at the time and take on their entire personality. I told him I thought Brad seemed like a bit of a milquetoast to me, and not the sharpest tool in the shed. I didn’t see anything inherently wrong with him, and I’m sure he was a very nice guy, just not my type. But I know, I know, most women set him as a gold standard of some kind so I played along. “Well, that’s very exciting for you.” “And then, Angelina walked in during the 4th quarter!” (Ok, slightly more interesting.) “And Brad was still entranced sitting with Amy talking to her!” I wasn’t sure if I bought that, but then I thought about the ways men act out to get attention. I thought it doubtful that his attentions could have had the slightest sincerity or meaning attached to them, but he seemed thrilled that Brad Pitt was getting drunk and talking to his wife. So why not let him have his EBBA. And then it hit me why he was busting out of his seams. In his mind, Brad Pitt isn’t paying attention to this:
Because he’s too interested in what his wife had to say. This biologically proves his wife’s ‘Can’t-Quite-Put-A-Finger-On-It’ seductive powers that he always suspected were there, but didn’t have any visible proof of, are now powerful enough to attract the attention of an alpha-male. Naturally, since he just impregnated his wife, his pack status had to have taken a couple of jumps. This could be a great boon for their marriage. His ego probably grew 12 sizes as he instantly became 20 times more territorial. Just from that one meaningless encounter.
Now let’s take this all a step further. What if along with celebrities’ charity work, the TV fundraisers and photo-ops in Africa and Haiti, we now add “Employ A Celebrity, Fix Your Marriage” to the list. They should now be open to making paid appearances, as actors, to show up at a place and flirt with you, if, for example, you feel your spouse is taking you for granted. You can pre-order this service just as you would a pizza. Husband starts coming home from work late? Suddenly acting strangely distant? Time to re-educate him with a surprise appearance at happy hour by Johnny Depp. How many gentleman reading this think they could take Johnny Depp – dashing, debonair, dangerous and talented – as he’s ordering a Manhattan at the bar and eyeing your little innocent lamb, while confiding in her about his “unhappy marriage?” Exactly. Someone might start making sure his pants were pulled up and his shoes were tied a little more often. Some may think this manipulative, but let’s face it, it’s perfectly effective and it works. Everyone is happier, and everyone walks home, hand in hand reminded of the gem they hold. I’m the Marriage Band-Aid. Just call me the Amelie of Lost and Lonely Couples.
A girlfriend of mine was once out with her sisters and the Prince of Saudi came after her like a heat-seeking missile, was completely captivated by her and kept pressing her to get her number (through his handlers)…so he could pick her up in his private jet whenever he was in town (you know, once every 9 months or so, maybe once a year.) While he was a complete cad and she never entertaining such a joke – you had better believe that her husband was instantly alert and awake, and on his best behavior for the next month or so.
So while I am not going to build a shrine to Brad and Angelina, or go apeshit if I see one of them walking down the street, I’m glad they are strengthening marriages across the eastern seaboard, here and there in between their charity bouncing. I would give it a good two weeks for my friend to die down with this story. I fear he’s going to be marinating in the nothingness of it for awhile. Something is dangerously wrong when the news of a Brad Pitt sighting eclipses the news of expecting one’s first child. The sky might actually be falling.