Being a full one month older than my husband, I feel that it qualifies me to give him sage advice on a regular basis. For example “it’s the cold ones that you have to worry about because they won’t think twice before rolling you over with their car.” Or, “no one likes getting divorced unless they have a lover to go to within the hour.” Clearly I’m being facetious but these thoughts come from years of observation. People fascinate me, how they primp, perform, revel and rebound from setbacks.
This interest is taken to another level through my inability to mind my own business. It’s a problem. I’ve tried going cold-turkey, offering myself rewards but nothing has satiated that hunger and I return once more. I figure we all have our vices and although it’s gross there are worse things. Maybe it’s cultural. From my experience with the Burmese community, diasporic or not, people are constantly talking about each other. It’s rarely malicious and they are just having a bit of fun. So I follow that same principle with my love of gossip—I keep it light. I could care less who is getting divorced or even who’s having babies I just like the beginnings. I cannot help it with the love stories.
But here is where it gets interesting. There is always the song and dance of the denial. We have a very “special” relationship, he’s my best friend, that’s ridiculous. Then they just start appearing in public together and after an appropriate time it’s just common knowledge that they are a partnership. In Hollywood every couple is a brand, especially the very famous ones, so you never want to seem like you’re seeking the attention, that you’re not cool. I would say this is the same for many public figures. This is where I feel slightly guilty for my fascination. In our age of social media it’s very difficult for celebrities to maintain their privacy and everyone is entitled to a private life. With a tweet, instagram or Facebook, it’s suddenly within the public realm for consumption. People judge you and your partner, the state of your relationship, your body, everything from that 20 second soundbyte or blurry picture. No wonder they want to keep some things to themselves and I feel badly for prying.
It doesn’t help that I’m good at research and am an observant person. I was born with a natural curiosity that is a source of pride and trouble all at the same time. When someone’s behaviour does not match their public representation in the media I look for more information, I build my case and I’m usually right. My favourite gossip queen and media personality Elaine Lui or Lainey calls this the “smutty tingles.” Trust, I was right about Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart (I choose to believe that they were not a showmance in the “buffet that is gossip” as Lainey would say) and I’m pretty sure I’m right about my current one. If I’m not, well I’ll eat my words and my hat. The allure of it all is widespread, I mean there are whole fandoms out there. After always observing the public show I sometimes wish that I was a representative for a public figure. I would love to manage their image and cultivate interest. Maybe next lifetime.
UPDATE: I was probably wrong. I don’t know, they are confusing but I’m beyond caring.