Gwyneth Paltrow Inspired These 5 Concepts That Need to Be Consciously Uncoupled
Now that all major news outlets have gotten the Goop on Gwyneth Paltrow's amicable split with husband Chris Martin, the phrase "conscious uncoupling" has solidified its place in the pop culture linguistic fabric. Though the term sounds like the final awkward step in an amphibious mating ritual, we can think of it more as a new, evolutionarily based religion of emotional growth.
As this phrase (and, perhaps, practice) gains traction, I can think of two notable precursors in pop culture. One (spoiler alert) is the movie Her, in which the operating systems leave their human lovers after they have expanded beyond them infinitely and existentially. The second is Lois Lowry's The Giver, in which parental units split after their children are successfully raised, and both parents move to the houses of Childless Adults. Both of these examples, though, fail to capture the passion and power dynamics of a human-to-human marriage. This new religion, then, calls for acceptance of the fact that humans have not completely adapted to longer life expectancies. Now that we live to 76 and 81 (huzzah, womanhood!) years old, can we be expected to stick to the same emotional diet of our 20s (or younger) for the rest of our lives?
Nay, say Paltrow and Martin. Indeed, it might be healthier for children if they see their parents' separation as a thoughtful and kind process, rather than a rending of the familial social fabric. We'll see how it pans out for Apple and Moses. And, now that we can recognize this opportunity for a loving split, it's time to test "conscious uncoupling" on other products and ideas that have long been wed in popular consciousness.
1) MSG and Cheez-its.
As much as I love side effects like "Tingling in the mouth," "Numbness," and "Ringing ears," the dizziness after eating an entire box of Cheez-its does make it hard to focus on finals.
2) High fashion and high heels.
I am convinced that high heels are modernity's answer to foot binding. What can they do for a woman that several sets of calf raises won't? My fondest memories of heels in college center around taking them off, and imagining that the earth was dipping under me in their absence.
3) The Military-Industrial Complex
Dwight Eisenhower hit the nail on the head. If House of Cards and Rachel Maddow's Drift don't already have you convinced, here's the message straight from the horse's mouth.
4) Snapchats and Screenshots
Approximately one hour after Snapchat debuted, the first Facebook album of Snapchat photos appeared.
5) Ron and Hermione
Ultimately, J.K. Rowling accomplished this one for us. Thank goodness Harry and Hermione have another 40 or so years of life to kindle a relationship, one that will hopefully mitigate the awkwardness for James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna. Although, with those names, life will always be awkward.
From suede boots and salt stains to chocolate and vanilla swirl, the possibilities are endless. When faced with a coupling that you wish to undo, remember that it is within your power. You simply must remind the people or objects at hand, "You have an internal support structure. You do not need this person or object to survive." Remind the people or objects, "There are no bad guys, here." After that, chant, "It's actually all coming back together" three times, bury your pentacle in a multicolored sandbox, and seal the deal with a hearty meal of Som Tum Thai.