Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why I Give a Rat's Ass About Ashton & Demi

I don't know that they were the oddest couple ever (um, Anna Nicole Smith and that octogenarian), but I can't imagine anyone looking at Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and thinking, "Yeah, that makes total sense."

Quite the opposite. She comes across as sophisticated and humorless while he seems like a cross between a doofus and a douche--a doodou. So I guess it's fitting that she didn't find anything funny about his extramarital affairs. Cue the divorce announcement.

I can't say that I was surprised, but I was surprised that I was sad.

I wanted Moore and Kutcher to go the distance, if for no other reason than to prove a younger man could love, honor and find an older woman attractive into her 50s, 60s and beyond. I mean, Hollywood's offered us plenty of examples of the opposite: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, Regis and Kelly. Demi's ex, Bruce Willis (56), is 23 years older than wife #2; 23, coincidentally, is the age of Willis' daughter Rumer.

I'm old enough to remember Demi Moore's debut as the much-reviled Jackie Templeton on "General Hospital," a woeful attempt to fill the vacuum left by Genie Francis. Which means that, gulp, like Moore, I'm over the age of 40 (but not as far over as she is, let's get that straight).

So I was rooting for her and Ashton. Somehow, my logic went, if the two of them could make it, it would be a victory for every woman on the far side of the 18-35 demographic. See, we're still relevant. See, men find our confidence and life experience a turn-on. See, we're in our prime. Ashton + Demi = validation of my very existence.

I know--trust me, I know--that's a stupid and irrational belief system I've got going. But it's also stupid and irrational that the current darlings of the red carpet are Hailee Steinfeld, Chloe Moretz and Elle Fanning--combined age, 12. Against this tidal wave of youth culture, Demi was the dam holding at bay the utter annihilation of all humans born prior to 1990. And now the dam has been breached.

Last weekend, we were visiting my brother, his wife and their new baby in St. Louis. As we were saying our good-byes, we ran into a neighbor from their apartment building, a female law student. Before my brother could introduce us, she blurted, "Are these your parents?"

Are these your parents? Granted, I'm 9 years old than my brother, but our mother is 35 years his senior. Do I look 70? Do I?

I physically recoiled at her comment, which tipped the nymph that she had made an egregious mistake. "We don't like you," my husband added. He was kind of, sort of, not really joking.

We continued idly chit chatting for a few more awkward moments and then headed toward our respective cars. "You know, she's in her twenties," my brother said, once we were out of earshot. "Everyone looks old to her." (Actually, I probably looked like her mom to her. I did the math, it's technically possible.) Forty, 70, 100--yeah, we're all the same. Not young.

But Demi taught us that didn't matter. Demi taught us that we could be physically appealing well past the age when women of previous generations were pushed aside. Demi was a big f-you to Emma Stone, Keira Knightley, Evan Rachel Wood and the rest of their porcelain-skinned sisters. I might have envied her impossibly toned body and insanely lustrous raven locks, but damn, she made the rest of us feel like we still had game.

Then Ashton had to go and cheat on her with some young piece of trash. Turns out he's the pig, cheat, louse and overall ass I always thought he was. Worse, he proved all the naysayers right, all the folks who said Demi-Ashton, couldn't work and wouldn't last. I hate that he pretty much confirmed their opinion that one day he would wake up and say, "Shit. My wife is old. She works her ass off to not look it, but she is. And some day, she's going to be all wrinkled and stuff."

But that's not why they broke up. Truth is, their marriage ended because he's a big doodou.