Is Hollywood Making a Mockery of Marriage? Maybe.
On Monday this week, reports started circulating that Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande had called off their engagement and gone their separate ways.
And I’d love to say that we were all collectively shocked! beyond!! belief!!! but that would be a lie. Rather, I think we were all shocked beyond belief at the pace in which they went from flirty DM’s on Instagram to matching tattoos and a $93,000 pear-shaped diamond ring. Like they bought a teacup pig together guys. A goddamn pig. Called ‘Piggy Smallz’. Let that sink in for a moment.
2018 has been the year of the quickie engagement. Pete and Ariana were engaged after just eights weeks of dating, Nick Jonas proposed to Priyanka Chopra after two months as well, Cardi B married Offset the same day he proposed, and Justin Bieber went from bike riding in Venice beach with Selena Gomez in March to rekindling his relationship with Hailey Baldwin in Miami in May, popping the question to her in July, and making it official at a courthouse in September. And honestly I’m exhausted from just typing that sentence.
So is it Hollywood stupidity, or when you know you know? Just this week, Meghan Trainor (Remember her?!) told Jimmy Fallon that she had decided to forego wedding invitations and “just text everyone” instead. Like she is SMS’ing 150 guests. If that isn’t the saddest thing you’ve ever heard… But maybe it’s not marriage as you and I have come to know it. What if it’s about what marriage represents to a person like Trainor or Ariana Grande. A person who has lived all of her teenage and adult life as a commodity to be consumed, who’s success and sense of purpose has largely been determined by others. To a person like that, marriage is a safe house. Its appeal lies in it’s stability. Hollywood’s quickie engagements also remind us of the intensity of love, and in that sense it’s almost irrelevant whether Hailey and Justin or Nick and Priyanka go the distance. What’s relevant is that for a period of time two people loved each other with such vigour and enthusiasm that they couldn’t go a minute longer without the paperwork to prove it.
I’m not doubting their intentions. I know in my soul that Pete and Ariana were serious. You don’t buy a farm animal with someone unless you’re in it to win it. I wouldn’t buy a goat with a guy I’d been dating for two months unless I thought he was The One. Capital T, Capital O. I’m sure they had every intention of walking down the aisle in matching Sweetener merch. I’m just seeing their whirlwind romance through a new lens, one that comes with a lot less judgement.
And in case you were wondering… Ariana got to keep the pig.