Friday, November 02, 2007

My Addiction

Is this the place? Linoleum floors, white walls and folding chairs? Check. Coffee urn the size of the robot from Lost in Space? Check. Twelve Steps posted on the wall? Check. Miscellaneous humanity scattered about the room? Check. Microphone? Check.

I am the Mistress of All Evil and I have a confession. I am a Britney Spears Gossip Addict.

It first started back around 2000, when I saw the "Ooops. . .I Did It Again" video on TV. The costumes! The dancing! The way the damn ear worm of a song got into my brain and I couldn't get rid of it! I found myself running the lyrics in my head, listening for it to play on the radio. . .

I knew that as a singer, Britney Spears was a good dancer--I wasn't fooled. I thought I could handle it. I could quit anytime I wanted to.

And I managed it. Somehow, I got over the ear worm, and then, in 2003, when she "performed" Satisfaction on the Grammys, I knew I was safe. Never had so much sweat, hair posing and near nudity been deployed with so much effort for so little effect. Sure, the tear away pants were more than a little cheesy, and no one could do such an aerobics routine while actually singing--but even on it's own terms, it was remarkably anti-sexy. A lot of moaning and pouting, but no actual attractiveness. I was over Britney. I was my own woman again.

But then--she divorced K-Fed. And she showed up on Letterman looking cute, and pulled together, and altogether better than she had looked in years, and I kind of got a girl crush on her. Here was a woman with two little kids, and a serious Cheetoes habit, and she managed to get it together and it was possible! To be a mom with small kids and be happy! To handle it and look good while doing it! Which was something I hadn't been doing so well, but wanted to believe was possible.

Now, however, we see that was just a brittle facade, a easily shattered mask of competence, and now I can't help but read snotty celebrity web sites to see to what depths she has fallen. She's out at all hours, wearing terrible clothes! They are so horrible, that she even pays other people to switch clothes with her! She has lost joint custody of her kids, has to meet with a parenting coach, and now her management has given up on her. She was supposed to show up to promote her new album, but couldn't find a parking place and just blew it off! They can't get her to show up for photo shoots, in-store promotions, or anything. The album has been reviewed as "promotes the Britney brand, even in the absence of Britney herself." She is subject to twice weekly drug tests. She spends her hours house hunting, shopping, and driving aimlessly in her car. She has fallen so far that her skeevy ex-back-up dancer ex-husband looks like the responsible one.

I had a really hard time after my kidlets were born. Don't mistake me, I love them to pieces and consider myself totally lucky that I get to have them in my family. But the process of becoming a parent, of raising small beings who cannot care for themselves--it's hard. It's damned hard, and I had an incredibly difficult time doing it. I developed a serious, debilitating depression, I got panicky over how I was going to care for my kids for an entire day before Mr. Sweetie came home. I lost most of my ability to function logically, and I felt this horrible feeling of dying inside--I couldn't trust myself, almost nothing I did had any psychic payoff for me. . .

So, I feel like I kind of understand where Ms. Spears might be stuck. On the other hand, I had Mr. Sweetie, and my parents, people I could trust. I didn't have over $700K a month in income. But I can kind of understand the need to drive around--just to be alone. Just to silence all the neediness around one.

It's a complicated thing, my addiction to Britney. I kind of understand, and at the same time I can watch her and feel superior. Sure, I'm not an internationally famous, multimillionaire pop-star, but I never shaved my head. At least, there are some depths to which I did not sink. And besides, how can you not stare in horror at the car wreck that is this?

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