I was told the second coming of Bennifer would save me. “Who told her this?” you ask. “Was it something she told herself?” To that I say, please do not interrupt me while I am speaking from the heart. Anyway, somewhere between the rumors of flirty texts and the confirmed couple’s trip to Saint-Tropez, I was made to believe that the rekindled union of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez would fix everything.
I mean, of course, I had high hopes. Did you not see those blurry photos of the two of them driving around in Montana from May 2021, the first photographic evidence of them together since they broke up in 2004? Or the other blurry photos of them making out at a family dinner a few months later? These two were my personal Bigfoot, each surprise spotting a sudden burst of serotonin. To walk out into the world and proudly shout “BENNIFER IS REAL” was validating. It was vindicating. It was literally the only bit of fun, harmless news in a sea of headlines like, “Guess What? The Last Good Thing Is Bad Now.”
And then, on April 9, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez announced that they’d gotten engaged (again). Actually, first J.Lo teased the news in a video she posted on social media, which said you needed to go to her website to hear the actual announcement. She said the news was for her “inner circle,” which is why you needed to give her your email address in order to watch the announcement video.
But back to Bennifer being engaged. Hooray! Amazing! I love it! Or…do I? I realized I was hooray-ing but didn’t feel a thing. Where is the vicarious joy, the unbridled pleasure of life imitating fan fiction? Most importantly, why did their engagement change nothing for me, personally? I thought the news would function as a supplement to my antidepressants, that it would change my life, pay off my loans, clear my acne, and make me dinner. But it did none of those things. It’s like they…don’t even care about me?
For now, I’d simply like to share this with you: “Life is an art, and we are the artists.…Make it as beautiful as you want and create exactly what you want it to be…the JLo effect.” That is a quote from J.Lo’s newsletter that she made me sign up for in order to see her engagement announcement video. And folks, Ben isn’t even in the video! It’s just 13 seconds of J.Lo making goo-goo eyes at her green engagement ring and whispering, “You’re perfect.” Who is perfect, J.Lo? Ben? The ring? Your newsletter? Me? Can it be me??
Where is the shameless, early-aughts Bennifer who gave us Jersey Girl and Gigli? Where is the Bennifer who got together after Ben took out a half-page ad in Variety to profess his, um, respect for J.Lo? At the very least, where is my “Jenny From the Block” music video Bennifer, touching butts on a big boat? Hmm?
Regardless, I do wish all the best for my beloved Bennifer. However, if the two of them don’t release a new music video for “Marry Me” ahead of their wedding, I will be pressing charges.
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