When you’re as famous Lady Gaga, an entity the general populace treats as if she descended from the cosmos in a shroud of stardusted meat, people are naturally curious about the fallible mortals she’s welcomed into her holy orbit. After months of A Star Is Born stans demanding she and Bradley Cooper just kiss already, a “mystery man” emerged on Gaga’s arm around the turn of the new year. Soon, the dirt-smeared rabble learned that her new beau was Michael Polansky, who, despite being a very wealthy and successful entrepreneur, was nevertheless considered a “normal” human by people who cared. (Maybe he finally taught her what Fortnite is?)
What’s arguably more interesting than a star’s dating habits, though, is the ripple effect that’s caused when someone on Gaga’s level dates someone who hasn’t spent their whole lives hooking up with other famous people. Can you imagine what it’d be like if your ex was dating one of the world’s most famous pop stars? Well, now you don’t have to because a New York Times opinion editor, Lindsay Crouse, has an answer.
In a new piece for the Times, Crouse chronicles how she was “eating bodega grapes” at her desk when friends began spamming her phone with the news. She and Polansky dated for seven years both during and after college, and, due to him having blocked her on Facebook, she hasn’t maintained much of a relationship with him since then. “I hadn’t googled him in forever (I promise),” she writes. “But this month I knew everything about his new relationship status, within hours of when it was disclosed.”
She continues, “If you’ve ever googled an ex’s new partner (be honest) you’ve probably played a certain game with yourself. You’re either just curious—which is healthy of you—or you want to know how you compare. Ideally the ex’s life didn’t improve too much without you? In this case, though, that’s all upended. How do you compare yourself with Lady Gaga? Instead of thinking, ‘Why not me?’ when I see them together, I think ‘That was me.’ It pulls the illusion of celebrity down.”
Her answer is less self-flagellating and more inspirational than most people’s would probably be. “Lady Gaga is amazing,” she writes. “Comparing yourself with her is incredibly motivational, and I recommend you try it, regardless of how you relate to who’s dating her.” Sharing this unique commonality with one of the most famous people on the planet ultimately pulled back the otherworldly aura that surrounds Gaga, leading Crouse to conclude that, in the end, :”we’re actually all the same: strangers, smiling on a screen.”
Read the full piece here.