The signs were there that Channing and Jenna Tatum were done
The world tilted slightly off its axis this week as news broke that our favourite downhome couple, Channing Tatum and his wife of nine years, Jenna Dewan, were separating.
Fans of the human muscle shirt Channing, while low-key excited that he was single, were also high-key devastated that such a wholesome, beady-eyed beefcake and his equally wholesome, booty-popping wife were dissolving their union. Comments such as "First Chris Pratt and Anna Faris, now you two!" and "This has made me lose faith in love" and "U GUYS ARE RIDIC! U HAVE A KID!" peppered their Instagram feeds after the announcement was made.
It's true - they do have a daughter, Everly, 5. Yet according to their joint statement, absolutely nothing has changed about how much [they] love each other". And while we appreciate the effort they've gone to in managing our disappointment, the fact is ... if they're separated, that can't possibly be correct. For starters, mummy and daddy are probably no longer sharing a home, much less a bed.
And it does feel like mummy and daddy, or at the very least, our friends from our small town high school who fell in love on the football field (where she was obviously head cheerleader) and managed to remain super hot and super into each other right up until their late 30s.
Their union appeared to smoulder and crackle onward while the rest of us merely dabbled in Zumba, telling our own spouses between conversation-free binges of Netflix that as long as we stood at our office desks, walked to the bus stop and closed the toilet door once in a while to keep hold of mystery in the relationship, we were doing OK as a couple.
Chan and Jen, like Chris Pratt and Anna Faris and Amy Poehler and Will Arnett before them, cut deep because they appeared to be having actual fun together. The only slight problem is that we are now left asking, what is love? Because we swear, we never saw the break-up coming.
The thing is, the Dewan-Tatum union was always much more than two almost offensively similar sounding surnames. It was a signifier; a lightbeam to the world that no matter how rich and famous a former stripper and his solid C-list actress-slash-dancer lady became, their love was unchanging.
It's a bummer to be wrong.
And yet. The signs were there.
I'm not talking about the rumours surrounding Tatum's alleged infidelity or his alleged heavy drinking. I'm speaking rather, of those red flags that fly at half-mast.
A gentle scroll through Jenna's Instagram, is, in a word, deeply revealing. Look, that was two words, which is borderline nonsensical, but, believe me when I say: Jenna Tatum is a two word woman. Which, again, doesn't make much sense, until you read, not on the surface, but across the text of her curated life, and discover that the one time award-winning dancer-turned-TV star, was body rolling out of this marriage break-up with both guns blazing months before they even crafted that announcement on their Commodore 64 computer.
In February Dewan posted an old photo shoot of herself from Esquire Magazine in a push-up corset and black stockings, and followed this two days later with a quote, which read, "Give it time ... the weak in character always get tired of pretending."
By March, she was presenting herself in a number of highly sensual dance poses, and had gone the full Rumi.
Now, any woman who has known another woman who has gone through a break-up will tell you - publishing quotes of the 13th century theologian and poet is never a good sign. Because Rumi is all about love, yes, but the love he writes of is eternal, uncontainable, and therefore totally non-monogamous.
Rumi, according to folklore, changed his name to Rumi because it means "master" but a modern translation might be simply: "I got dumped". Just ask Lena Dunham, who quoted Rumi immediately after breaking up with Jack Antonoff earlier this year. Mere weeks later, Jack was photographed cosying up to a model. And earlier this week, Antonoff appeared as a special guest at Lorde's concert where, according to on-lookers, the pair were openly flirting.
And now that we know this, Dewan's quotes are pulled into dramatic focus, like one of those magic eye things that, if you stare at the little zig-zag pattern for long enough, will reveal a shark eating a man who is trying to pee. Which, enthralling though it may be, is still more than a little concerning.
We shall wait then, as a river waits, to see which woman might emerge, not on the arm, but tentatively walking behind Tatum while he dodges paparazzi in the coming months.
Of course I could be wrong.
But if I'm right, we might all have to delve deep into Rumi, because, oh, it's going to hurt.