But What About Coco? Why We Care When Celebrities Split

In case you haven’t heard, Courteney Cox and David Arquette announced their separation this week.  They’ve been married for 11 years and have one daughter, Coco, and are generally recognized as one of the more successful Hollywood couples.  So, when I heard the news, I was surprised and even a little sad.  At first I chalked up my reaction to my own over-the-top sensitivity – after all I did actually shed a few tears when Jessica Simpson left Nick Lachey over Thanksgiving a few years ago.  But then I started seeing posts on Twitter from other people with similar reactions.  Thank goodness! I’m not the only one.

So why do we care? Especially when, as my husband says, “like 99.9% of celebrity marriages end up in divorce anyway?”

Their relationships correspond with milestones in our own lives. In this case, Courteney and David got married around the same year I did.  So when they split up it makes me think about my own relationship and what it might be like if I were going through a separation like them.  Maybe we have kids the same age, or won our own big award the same year they won their Emmy.  Whatever the connection, watching a celebrity go through something publicly can cause us to think about our own lives and wonder “what if it were me?”

They put it all out there. I know more about the private lives of some of the Hollywood crowd than I do of some of my closest friends and family members.  When these folks lay their aching heart out in People magazine for all of us to read – how could we not feel at least some sort of sympathy?

She is a Friend after all. Let’s face it, we all loved Friends and the goofy character Courteney played.  We got to know her and the rest of the cast pretty well over the years.  So, just as we might mourn the end of a marriage with a real friend, perhaps it is not too strange to hurt alongside our Friend from TV.