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This celeb breakup ruins everything

OPINION

  • Will Arnett and Amy Poehler
Will Arnett and Amy Poehler (Getty Images file photo )
September 11, 2012|By Niki Fritz, @fritzfrack | For RedEye

It always comes out of nowhere. One moment you are innocently retweeting one of Rob Delaney's mildly inappropriate jokes and the next—bam!—Amy Poehler and Will Arnett have broken up. It's the tweet you never saw coming.

I like to think of myself as a pretty level-headed Midwestern gal who doesn't get caught up in all the celebrity gossip baloney, but this comedy duo's split crushed my happily-ever-after notions of true comedic love. I mean, if Knope and Bluth can split up, what hope is there for the rest of us?

After Thursday's announcement, I spent the weekend watching alternating episodes of "Arrested Development" and "Parks and Rec," looking for some sign of the impending breakup doom that I may have missed.

When I started to come out of my breakup coma Sunday, I had a realization: Why the heck did I care whether Poehler and Arnett broke up?

I know neither Poehler nor Arnett, and their amicable separation will have zero effect on my day-to-day life. Their divorce will not even interrupt my regularly scheduled TV lineup. So why did I find myself clicking through people.com, looking for happier days?

In fact, why does anyone anywhere ever care when celebrities break up?

And it is not just that people get upset when the Bennifers and Robstens of the world break up; it is that people become obsessed with predicating the success or demise of celebrity love. There are pools to bet when Kimye will get married, break up or have an illicit three-way with Taylor Swift.

People invest their time, energy and worry into these thoughts so that they don't worry about their own potential love downfall. We want to believe that if we can control and predict the outcome of celebrity marriages, we can control and predict our own love lives. It's as if Kimye's happily-ever-after would equal our own.

So we say infinitely silly things like, "Of course Scarlett and Ryan broke up. It was like so obvious that they weren't right for each other." Our certainty makes the loss of love seem more rational and not like the total crapshoot that love is. It makes us feel secure; if we can predict celebrities' love potential, surely we can predict our own and then surely we won't end in our own stewing depressing bowl of breakup soup.

And that is why I think it shook my usually celebrity-vacant world a bit when Amy and Will broke up. (After the emotional roller coaster I've been through, we are now on a first-name basis.) If two people who seem so perfect for each other, who are so very close to being like "regular" people, can get divorced, then it is suddenly a very real possibility that ANYBODY could also get divorced.

And that is terrifying.

But it is also the reality of a world with risky love. People—even perfectly hilarious people—get divorced. Even really cute, adorable love breaks. And that stings. But if celebrity gossip has taught me anything, it is that even after horrible, life-shattering breakups, there will be love again. Just ask Jennifer Aniston.

Niki Fritz is a RedEye special contributor.

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