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In My Opinion


Conscious Uncoupling - Gwyneth Paltrow’s surprisingly separated

By Tracy Lee Curtis
Tracy Lee Curtis
Tracy Lee Curtis is a humorist, writer and speaker. She writes family humor for the Charlotte Observer. Her column appears each Sunday.

Rarely does one get by me, but I have to say that when actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced that she and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin were “consciously uncoupling,” I totally didn’t catch that they were separating.

I just thought they decided there’d be some things they just don’t do together. You know, all that stupid couple stuff. Like when you’re dating and the girl goes, “Come on honey, go with me to look at shoes, you can tell me which ones you like on me.”

He doesn’t care. At all. But he goes, because she wants him to. He’s the boyfriend, there’s a sense of duty, maybe even a hint of fear, who knows? But he goes.

And it’s this very behavior that gets carried into the marriage. And then there he is – a dude – standing around Belk, pretending to be reading the Wall Street Journal online.

He’s picking out spinach with her at the HT. He’s sweating all over her yoga mat at Laughing Buddha. He’s riding along to pick up her dry cleaning, wondering why in the world she doesn’t buy clothes that she can toss into the washing machine with his sweaty yoga shorts?

And the answer is – because they’re too coupled.

And it’s not just him – she’s coupled, too. She’s at a baseball game she couldn’t care less about. She was at a Super Bowl party and not only did she not know who was playing, she was trying to figure out just how large, exactly, is an XLVIII.

She’s hanging out with his friends, who only talk about sports and how much the Belk bill is this month. She’s at Home Depot browsing electric screwdrivers, listening to him ponder the best way to mount a flat screen, thinking, “Please don’t let it be over the fireplace.” And for the life of her, she can’t keep from slipping off her yoga mat because of all his sweat.

So yes, for heaven’s sake, uncouple that couple! Spread out! You don’t have to both go down to Time Warner Cable to get the remote replaced. Let him do that. Let her go pick out fruit. And if you feel like it – IF you feel like it – meet later for a drink. Or a movie, and if he wants Scorsese and she wants Streep, split up. Sever, scatter, set asunder. Detach, disjoint, divide.

Deliberately disunite. Purposefully partition. Resolutely remove and determinedly disassociate. Staying married, of course, just giving each other some space.

I totally get the uncoupling, makes perfect sense – he takes the boys to baseball, she gets the car inspected. He picks up dinner, she puts kids to bed, and they meet on the sofa at 9. I’m down with it.

So imagine my surprise when I read Gwyneth and Chris are busted up.

Definitely dumbfounded.
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