BREAKING UP

In last week’s column, I began to explore how “celebrity” allows the rest of us to dissect the pain and absurdity of the human experience at a safe and deliciously judgmental distance. The coming together and falling apart of celebrity unions is a multibillion dollar tabloid business. Is that because most of us can relate to the dreadful, stomach lurching angst of being utterly, (I-will-never-get-out-of-bed-again) heartbroken?

And it doesn’t matter how many times your friends (and mother) drown you in affirmations like “you’re way too good for him/her anyway” or “you deserve someone soooo much better”, breaking up, well, really sucks. Watching the world’s most beautiful and glamorous specimens experience that same living hell is oddly comforting; not to mention highly educational. Here are just a few things celebrity behavior can teach us all about getting over heartbreak:

BREAK UP NOT DOWN

Tom left Nicole, Brad left Jen, Ethan cheated on Uma, Hugh left Liz (and Jemima) and George, Jim, Jack and Kenny left Renee. And if they can go on to win Oscars, launch fragrance lines, inspire Keith Urban songs and Kill Bill – then surely you can bloody well get up and go to work; (albeit an hour and an half late and insanely hung over).

FOCUS ON THE LESS FORTUNATE

If Angelina has taught us anything (other than ‘being drop dead beautiful is pretty dam handy’) it’s that devotion to those less fortunate than you can not only alleviate heartbreak, it can land you Brad Pitt. When Angelina’s second marriage to Oscar winning actor Billy Bob Thorton hit the skids, did she mope around the house clinging longingly to the vile of Billy’s blood hanging around her neck? No siree! She took herself off to the poorest countries in the world and confronted a version of despair the western world can only try to imagine.

While the rest of us may not have the financial means to evacuate our environment at a moment’s notice, it is important to remember that there are people in the world battling against extreme misfortune and disadvantage. Surely you can embrace the concept of life minus the affections of one insignificant person who may not even be that attractive in the right lighting.

In other words, to get over it – get out there and help the less fortunate. Before you know it, you could be pregnant with Brad Pitt’s twins.

GO THE REBOUND

Getting over someone is INFINITELY easier when you’re getting it on with someone else. Gwyneth transitioned effortlessly from Brad to Ben to Chris; Ben went on to swap one Jennifer seamlessly for another and Orlando didn’t waste any post-Kate time getting on with Jen; (or post-Jen time getting on with Miranda Kerr).

You don’t need to be on an exotic film set to snag a rebound potential. Get yourself to new social environments; preferably bars frequented by loads of foreigners. You never know, one of them may end up being the Prince of Finland.

SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP

I know what you’re thinking; it’s alright for celebrities to go on unrestrained emotional spending sprees when they have stacks of money. But getting yourself out of debt could be a handy distraction later on; when you finally sober up and the really bad pain sets in.

DANCE TO THE BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUM

Renee went from strutting to the White Stripes to toe-tapping to Kenny Chesney to going solo on the Chicago soundtrack. Nicole traded Lenny Kravitz for country quicker than you can say Keith Urban.
And you can bet your last dollar that Natalie Imbruglia won’t be listening to Silverchair on her ipod just now; anymore than Carey Hart will be listening to Pink.

It’s important to set your POST THEM life to a new soundtrack; (whether you’ve just been dating a singer or not).

IN: meaningless, fun pop songs, up tempo techno or any music that compels you to stride down the street like a 6 foot Amazonian black woman who only uses men for sex in between running a fashion label and kick boxing competitively.

OUT: angst ridden rock, crap ballads and depressing country songs about someone actually dying of a broken heart.

GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS

Where would Jennifer have been without Courtney and Oprah?

Thank goodness Ben had Matt; Nicole had her sister Antonia (and Naomi Watts) and Paris had Nicole (actually maybe not). The point is, it is VERY important to minimize time spent alone post break up. With the right friends, (and enough alcohol), an intense emotional low can be quickly transferred to an equally intense emotional high. And while not everyone will appreciate you singing Eric Carmen songs at the top of your voice at 3am outside your apartment block, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. (Pete Dougherty has done far worse and Kate Moss STILL won’t break up with him).

ALWAYS RETAIN YOUR DIGNITY

If Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston can stay poised and graceful with the whole world watching the most painful and humiliating moments in their lives then surely you can manage to NOT drink-and-dial.

After all, calling someone who doesn’t want to hear from you, to tell them you are NOT thinking about them – is just silly really.