It was New Year’s Eve, 2010.
Gathered in a ballroom at the newly opened, pre-cum stained and hooker-hoofed casino floors of the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, was a crowd of revelers, mostly white. (OK, maybe all white, and many of them 40 plus–all friends of the hotel proprietors in some manner or another who had been asked to join the Cosmo for its opening weekend.) It was a grand affair. Guests were banded with guitar string bracelets– the Cosmopolitan’s version of an all-access pass to the weekend’s festivities which included: Florence and the Machine on stage for the premiere of the Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub, on-the-hotel dinners, and yoga classes for the hungover select. And comped rooms, naturally.
It was a weekend where you were as likely to get hit on by Jeremy Piven in an elevator, as you were to wind up playing craps with Jay Z.
Jay was the main attraction of the weekend, set to perform to all those white people, and C-A list celebs, doing their best dad-shuffles and shimmies as the clock of 2010 wound down toward midnight.
“I know how to throw my hat in the ring,” one elder gentleman said over the boom of Jay Z’s bravado, “less so my hands in the hair.” But, inspired by the undeniable swagger of the rapper onstage, he threw them up anyway, no doubt, as his balls fell closer to the ground. He was quite awkward to watch.
Jay was not. Cool as ever, he gave a performance worthy of the NYE title, which throughout its tenure has always fallen short. For everyone. You would think it would have the hang of it by now. (Seriously, we’ve been celebrating this shit since 153 B.C.)
The performance was all things you want from a show: off-the-cuff, intimate, just enough no-fucks and fucks given simultaneously. Jay played to the audience, he had fun, and as such, he was on the stage for hours, calling on his celebrity friends and wife to join him in impromptu (maybe) performances, asking the audience time and again to forgive mistakes, to bear with his entourage as they learned each other’s songs in the heat and electricity of the moment.
At one point, he called Coldplay frontman Chris Martin to the stage to perform ‘Halo’ with Bey (who blew it out of the ballroom) explaining, “I’m gonna go over there and have a drink if that’s cool.” And as Chris slipped into a seat beyond a keyboard, Jay Z said, “I’m sorry guys, but it’s New Years.”
Beaming from the back of the room, in a skin-tight grey mini dress, gripping a glass of champagne of her own, was Gwyneth with, yes, the ass of a twenty-year-old stripper and burnished golden hair. She was on her feet, cheering and singing along with complete adoration and an inebriated smile that seemed to say, <em>Why darling, I don’t live at all when I’m not with you</em>. It was a good night for G and C, obvious to anyone in the room at the time. They were uninhibited, unscripted, and unpolished.
Three years later, and the two have announced their separation, via GOOP blog post titled, “Conscious Uncoupling.”
It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.
Gwyneth & Chris
The signs were there. There was the constant speculation of infidelity, which, whether fact or fiction, takes its toll on any living, breathing, psyche. When people are forever concerned if everything is alright, you start to question if it is. And at a certain point, you lose the magic.
You lose it in the marriage and you lose it in yourself.
Just last week Jenny Bahn consciously uncoupled with her 15-year-old love of Coldplay, announcing that over time as Coldplay and its frontman made the transition from the days of “Yellow,” to their 6th album, ‘Ghost Stories,’ they became “too polished to be personal, produced to the point of untrustworthiness.” That the album and Chris Martin were, “trying so hard [to make] you to love it, to want it, that it [became] suspect.
Likewise, the end of this marriage appears, at least from the outside that it became calculated, produced, empty of that original magnetism that inspired Coldplay’s origins. Even the released statement is one last hurrah—and attempt to spin hay into gold one last time, when what we all know is happening is divorce.
Most likely, there was nothing left of that night in 2010. This, (seeing as the divorce rate in the US is 50%) is surely understandable. Like Ben Affleck, G has made no hiding the fact that marriage is work. And to make it work, you have to put the work in.
But at a certain point, when all that work begins to feel like a job and not a career, you lose the ability to let loose, be free, dance with the hope of a New Year in your eyes as your hubby takes the stage with Jay Z.
And at that point, perhaps it is best to consciously uncouple.