Lady Whistledown and The Pause
Obsessed! has been unexpectedly interrupted for weeks, and I don’t know when it’s coming back.
I did plan the first two weeks of my writing hiatus. After two years of minimal in-person contact with my parents, I mustered up enough courage against COVID to fly to Florida to spend time with them in their senior community.
My entertainment obsessions were nearly overshadowed by the slice of life comings-and-goings of my parents, friends, and other residents. I was privy to so much gossip about scandalous affairs that I considered rebranding myself as Lady Whistledown of the Floridian version of “the ton.”
Big Hollywood news did break while I was away. Bennifer’s engagement 2.0 and Britney Spears’ pregnancy 3.0 were announced, and I managed to do some poolside social media reporting while vowing to write more about both topics when I returned home.
Life had other plans.
A few days after my return to Toronto, I received word that my former common-law partner of ten years had died in an accident, and my world hasn’t been the same since.
Someday I might try to write more about Joe because there is a lot to learn from how he lived. He set goals and chased dreams, meeting them one after the other, and he encouraged me to do the same.
Five years ago, we intentionally parted ways so that we could pursue our goals that no longer overlapped.
Joe found new love, embraced big new adventures, and died doing something he loved.
We hadn’t had much communication for a few years, but we had a truly meaningful text exchange days before his unexpected death, as fate would have it. I have rarely been so grateful for anything in my life.
Living alone during an acute grieving period didn’t seem like a good idea, so I packed some of my things, including my travel-reluctant cat, and came to stay with my parents, who were back in Ontario for the summer season. Three weeks of grieving in my quiet hometown with my parents were exactly what I needed.
Just as I was feeling ready to head back to Toronto, COVID hit this small town, and it somehow managed to find my dad. He’s been quite sick for a week, but he is starting to regain energy. So far, Mom and I are symptom-free and COVID-negative, but it seems wise for me to stay here just in case.
I have started referring to this time in my life as The Pause. The trajectory I was on has been completely halted by my emotional experiences around Joe’s death. Now I find myself at another fork in the road, but for once, I’m not in a rush to choose my next path. Instead, I have decided to pause.
I could use this unscheduled time to consume as much entertainment news as possible and report the highlights to you. For instance, I could write about the Johnny Depp defamation trial, the u-haul relationship between Chrishell Stause and G Flip, or Britney’s pregnancy loss; I’ve got my eye on things!
But, for the first time in my life, pop culture isn’t very important to me.
(Many of you will read that last sentence and wonder if I have COVID and am in a fevered state, and I don’t blame you!)
Instead, I’ve been going for gorgeous walks around the nearby lake, reacquainting myself with nature and spirit, and I haven’t felt this well for years.
I don’t know what will become of Obsessed!, but it doesn’t seem important to make that decision right now. What does feel important is letting you know what led to The Pause and thanking you for your readership, and your support.
In the meantime, I have a suggestion for you - stay obsessed, but maybe in different ways.
Become obsessed with paying attention to your relationships with the people you would miss if they were suddenly gone. Say the things that would otherwise be left unsaid. Love yourself and others in abundance. And, occasionally, put down your devices and discover the beauty of the world around you.
I promise you, it will be worth it.
While I pause, there are some other Substack entertainment writers I would like to recommend. These writers have been exceptionally supportive of me and my work, and they are genuinely fabulous human beings.
Dan writes thoughtful, in-depth television and film reviews.
If you are looking for deep dives into celeb behavior and spot-on fashion commentary, welcome to Rodeo Break!!! We met through Substack, but our takes on pop culture are so similar that I wonder if writer Alexander Mae and I are long-lost relatives!
Alanna Why is a prolific viewer, listener, and reader who writes intelligent and funny television, film, music, and book reviews. I met Alanna in a gay book club, and we formed a pop culture-obsessed kinship that I am so grateful for!
Writer Coleman Spilde's pop culture obsessiveness makes mine look tame! Think Obsessed!, but make it even GAYER. I am excited to share that Coleman is now an entertainment writer for The Daily Beast!
Love to all of you!