So, George Clooney Is 'Debonair' and Has Been 'Tamed' While 'Tragic' Jennifer Aniston Was 'Saved'
Poor George Clooney. Poor tragic, oldster, childless, longterm singleton George Clooney. Did you know he's over 50? Did you know he got divorced over 20 years ago and has not been married since? Instead, he has lurched pathetically, hopelessly from one failed relationship to the next, his biological clock going tick-tock-tick-tock. Meanwhile, his ex-wife, Talia Balsam, who was clearly too good for him, remarried sexy John Slattery from Mad Men and had a son. A family. Ouch! That must have hurt.
But now, lucky George has finally found a woman in the nick of time, and has somehow convinced her to marry him. They got engaged after only seven months of dating, which proves how desperate poor/lucky George Clooney is. I bet he's going to turn into a right Groomzilla now and insist on having a baby immediately.
I jest, of course. Clearly that is not the way George Clooney's unmarried life and recent engagement were reported in the media, because George Clooney is a man. Therefore, he is a sexy, debonair bachelor, a living breathing combination of Cary Grant, Brylcreem and handsomeness. He loves and leaves his women, that sexy cad, and the women are heartbroken. But he just waltzes on through life, evading the haggish hands of women hoping to nail him down, possibly literally. Ouch!
And so, as is appropriate, his engagement has been greeted in the press this week with shock ("George Clooney engaged? What?!"), because why on earth would this silver fox give up his sexy, debonair love 'em and leave 'em life, right? But there has also been grief ("Sorry, girls, Clooney has got engaged"), because it is a truth universally acknowledged that all women are desperate for Clooney to marry them.
His fiancee, Amal Alamuddin, is described in terms more appropriate to a wild animal hunter than a humanitarian lawyer: she "tamed" him, she"hooked" him, she "tied him down"; because Clooney is not just a handsome bachelor, you see: he is a wild leopard. And all of us "girls" have been dying to drag that leopard up the church aisle and get our hands on his handsomeness, his money and his famous last name. Haven't we, girls? You know we have. And now, we are all sad. Sad and desperate. As we always are.
Never mind that Alamuddin is, by any standard, quite a woman, being tri-lingual, smart, a barrister, a human rights lawyer, an adviser to Kofi Annan and beautiful. She obviously had to pull out all the tricks to "snare" Clooney, and what was her trick? According to a "well-informed source", it "was not her strategy for world peace" that snared Clooney (obviously not – intellect is repulsive in a woman): it was that she "played hard to get". This allegedly entailed Alamuddin turning Clooney down twice for dinner: "She was operating on the lines of 'treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen!'" the "well-placed source" revealed. Yesssss, maybe she was playing hard to get, or maybe an intelligent barrister could think of other things to do with her evening than listen to another actor blah on with his ill-formed thoughts about Syria when she'd already had quite enough pseudo-intellectualism from other celebrities she may have encountered through the UN, including Geri Halliwell and Angelina Jolie. Because maybe a smart 36-year-old woman is not as wowed by celebrity as candyfloss-brained tabloids. And as anyone with more than candyfloss for brains can see, it's Clooney who has lucked out here.
Let us turn now to another divorced and now engaged celebrity, oneJennifer Aniston. Like Clooney, Aniston was married and then got divorced from a fellow actor who has since remarried another actor and gone on to have children with them. Like Clooney, she went on to have a series of relationships with stonkingly good-looking people. And also like Clooney, she is now engaged to a fellow glamorous human being who goes by the name of Justin Theroux. So presumably when her engagement was announced, the media should have been filled with headlines along the lines of "Sorry, boys, Jen's been snapped up!" and "Jen's engaged?! We're all heartbroken!"
But of course none of those headlines appeared because even though – going by the tabloids' rubric – Aniston is a less desperate case than Clooney, being both younger and divorced for a shorter period, she is a woman. Therefore her engagement to Theroux was reported in precisely the terms and tone I used in the first paragraph, and has continued to be so ever since, with tales of Aniston's fiance trying to "break it off" and "refusing to see her" and her "desperation for a baby" filling the covers of tabloids and women's magazines every day. And that's because, in the world of the media, women are tragic and desperate and sad, and men are caddish and free. Because the media, apparently, believes that people are like characters in a crap romcom you wouldn't watch on a 14-hour flight.
It would be nice, wouldn't it, to live in a world where the media – tabloid and broadsheet – didn't talk about and to unmarried grown women as if they were hysterical teenagers desperate to be saved by their prince, insane with a need to be married NOW. It would be equally nice if the media didn't portray unmarried men as naughty schoolboys, terrified of those crazed women lurking around every corner waiting to kidnap them and take them to the altar. But then writing about people as changeable, varied human beings requires thought, whereas trotting out gender cliches from the 17th century doesn't.
So congratulations, George Clooney! I'm as happy for you as I would be for anyone I don't actually know. To be honest, I always preferred Noah Wyle. Oooh, anyone know if he's still single?!?!?!?