Five Things You Can “Consciously Uncouple”

You have all probably heard about it by now. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin of Coldplay are “consciously uncoupling.” And the world just can not handle itself. Mind you, no one is wasting any good snark on the fact that the two are going their separate ways…because, duh, Hollywood. Rather, social media outlets are excited over the fact that the term “divorce” was apparently not authentic enough to describe the dissolution of Paltrow’s and Martin’s marriage.

Yet seeing as how I am a wordsmith of sorts, I will admit to being a bit intrigued by the phrase “consciously uncouple”…not enough to declare Paltrow one of the great thinkers of a generation (though I have always loved her work in Shallow Hal), but intrigued no less. Words can sometimes be overused to the point of losing impact. I mean, how often have you heard the words separate, divorce, breakup or annul and thought, “I know I should have more feelings about Mom and Dad ending their marriage, but I can’t help it. The word divorce is just so trite. The whole thing feels a little flat. Maybe if they jazzed up the lexicon, I could work up a few tears.”

See what Paltrow did there? She has reinvented the same old tired Hollywood breakup. She has re-sensitized us. By having her way with the English language, we can now ponder in a whole new light the parting of ways of  two rich, pretentious people whose personal lives are of absolutely no concern of ours. Not only that, but she may have revolutionized the way we think about a lot of other couples.

Consider this…

5 things you can consciously uncouple
photo credit: smbuckley23 via photopin cc

1. Twin Pops: You’re not just going halvsies with your friend anymore. “Consciously uncouple” your twin pops and offer half to one of your brethren, symbolizing the collective Over-Soul that needs to be nourished within all of us.

2. Legos: You know those two bricks that just won’t come apart? And no matter how consciously you try to uncouple them, they are cemented together. Fear not. There is a tool for that. But you no longer have to call it by its pedestrian name: Brick Separator. Now it shall be dubbed “The Conscious Uncouple-ator.”

lego brick separator
Pulling apart Legos has never felt so meaningful.

3. Those Two Chatterbox Students in Class: Teachers, instead of merely separating these distracting children for your own sanity, “consciously uncouple” them, which will consequently lead them on their own individual paths of growth and self-actualization. And I bet ten bucks no parents will threaten legal action for damaging their child’s tender psyche if you use the clearly superior Paltrow method (because celebrities are the utmost authorities on things they have never earned degrees in…right Jenny McCarthy?)

4. Hope and the Political Process: Ugh. Even “conscious uncoupling” can’t put a positive spin on this one. We’re just up natural-bodily-waste creek without a paddle.

5. White Loads and Dark Loads: Laundry will no longer feel discriminatory. When you “consciously uncouple” your whites and your darks, you are simply providing each with their own environment in which they can celebrate their seamstress-given qualities. As a result, they can all come together in your closet to create a beautiful united front of harmonious fashion.

This whole “conscious uncoupling” really takes things up a notch. I mean, it is WAY more sophisticated than “unconscious coupling,” which is much more common and less philosophical. For instance, look at all the things I “unconsciously couple” right off the top of my head: peanut butter and jelly, the letters and u, Oprah and her favorite things, shopping for swimming suits and vomiting, Moby Dick and being bored out of my skull, Fred and Ginger, Romeo and Juliet, Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski, me and Bobby McGee…I could go on like this forever. It takes no soul-searching, no meaningful intention to “unconsciously couple.” But “consciously uncouple”? Now that’s deep.

So let’s all back off of Gwyneth. Through her pain she has given us a gift. Every party-goer who has ever felt the need to sound smarter among a group of intellectual snobs should raise her glass. Every student who has ever had to BS his way through an essay question on a test should raise his glass. Every lost soul who just needs a self-help book to call the same old crap in her life by a different name should raise her glass. Because now we have a whole new way of looking at separation, all the while giving the appearance of being ever more enlightened. Cheers to Gwyneth Paltrow!

Or rather, “Deliberate Celebratory Extremity Extension” to Gwyneth Paltrow. Whatever.


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51 thoughts on “Five Things You Can “Consciously Uncouple”

  1. Ha! Love “me and Bobby McGee” example and the toast at the end…lol! I think even better than “consciously uncouple” would be to just call divorce going “halvsies” 😉


  2. I feel a little guilty for laughing so much (you’re hilarious by the way), when Gwynny is in pain, but I couldn’t help but feel that “unconsciously uncoupling” became a thing because she thinks she’s too good to be just another common person who has a divorce or separation. Oh, lady. I just want to hug her and let her know it’s OK to just be Gwynny from the block. Y’know? She doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. It’s all good.


    1. I know. I have a hard time REALLY working up a solid dislike for her. There’s something about her I find endearing. And obviously, divorce is never funny. But sometimes these celebs just make it SO HARD not to have a bit of fun at their expense. Yet I really do wish her the best.


  3. This is genius!!! I love it! I love starting my day with tearing up because I’m laughing so hard! (Especially since I don’t have mascara on yet- I am going to consciously couple my lashes with it later) You. Awesome.


  4. “Maybe if they jazzed up the lexicon, I could work up a few tears.” … nice line! Are we surprised in ANY way that Gwenny came up with this terminology? I can just SEE her smug, nodding face the first time the 2 words left her pretentious lips. I’m going to spend a good portion of my day consciously coupling and uncoupling things now—thank you for giving my day some aim 🙂


    1. Don’t thank me. Thank Gwyneth. I’m just a disciple of the consciously coupling and uncoupling movement, spreading the word that sounds more important than it really is. 🙂

      But now I’m laughing picturing you at you desk consciously coupling and uncoupling things. Because you totally will. I want a list…


  5. I saw a bunch of stuph on Twitter yesterday about Gwyneth, but didn’t care enough to Google it to find out what was going on. Evidently, she’s too good for a divorce like the rest of us so she had to get creative with her vocabulary. I mean, this is the woman who named her child Apple, so you know she’s not right.

    No matter how you label it it’s still a divorce, Gwyneth!!


    1. I know. But I think if it more that we aren’t really laughing at the divorce, which is sad, but at her language about it. That’s at least what I tell myself to make me feel better 🙂


      1. Yes, that’s predominantly it. I mean, she’s a stranger–I’m sad that her relationship has come to an end and that her family is experiencing divorce. It’s difficult. But her language…Gosh, it’s just funny, and she’s just funny sometimes. 🙂


  6. I blew it last time and unconsciously coupled some dark laundry in my whites. It doesn’t matter the verbiage. It still hurts. Here’s to all the dog turds I have consciously uncoupled from the bottom of my shoe.


  7. Hi. I really appreciate the humor in this… However, I know I’m the odd one out when I say, I get why she gave it a different name. My experience with divorce is that there is a horribly dimempowering label attached to the fragile situation. Often, our society all too eagerly pits the ex husband and ex wife against one another and so quickly chooses sides. When I got divorced, it was unreal how quickly people we knew decided whose ‘side’ they were on and I so often heard (as I’m sure my ex partner did too), “what a bastard. I hate him. I’m on your side.” It didn’t matter how much either one of us described how our separation choice was mutual, amicable and that our intention was to remain friends. Nobody cared. They just wanted to see ugliness and have a battle that was not necessary in order to find out who was right and who was wrong. I found it to be sad, really. So, if I could turn back time, I just might adopt her name or find my own… Maybe people wouldn’t have gotten so unnecessarily nasty if we gave it a different label. I do know a few attorneys who specialize in ‘conscious divorce’ and honestly, I think it helps bring love into a situation that is heart-breaking, difficult and tragic, no matter how friendly the situation may be. During divorce, both parties need support and love-not fuel to create unnecessary negativity and battling.

    As for Gwenyth, I can see why she is publicly using that label. As I said, people tend to get really aggressive about divorce and being that she is high profile, I applaud her for standing her ground in choosing to ‘consciously uncouple’

    Anyway, those are my thoughts.

    I do appreciate your humor and writing style very much.

    Have a nice day,


    1. And I appreciate your very thoughtful and respectful comment. Having never been through divorce myself, I never would have thought of that perspective. You expressed it beautifully. Thank you for reminding us that even amid non-serious humor, there is a reality behind this of a painful and sad situation.


  8. I always thought “unconscious coupling” was something that happened at the end of the night at the student pub. Perhaps I was wrong.


  9. I have to say that she is in some of my very favorite movies and that I love her as an actress, but as a person she seems a tad….pretentious. I mean, consciously uncouple sounds like something I’D say. That can’t be good.


    1. But you’d be saying it tongue in cheek. That’s the difference. And I love her as an actress as well. I adore Shakespeare in Love…and I wasn’t kidding about Shallow Hal. Love me some Jack Black!


  10. Hilariously written and 100% spot on! Her kids are probably served meals off of divided plates in order to ensure proper conscious uncoupling of gourmet food items. It’s just how some people do things.


    1. Thanks! And that comment made me think of my grandpa who always used to “consciously COUPLE” all his food on his plate. He’d mix it all together and eat it, saying, “It all goes to the same place.” 🙂


  11. Genius post in every way. She’s desperately trying to portray that their break-up is rational and mutual and civilized and purposeful–basically deluding herself and trying to take us with her. Thank you for the chuckle this morning:))


  12. What? I didn’t even know they “consciously uncoupled”. I need to up my entertainment news game! This post still made me laugh though. 🙂


  13. Hi, just found you. This is hilarious. I hope Gwyneth never changes. She provides so much material as she sticks her diamond-encrusted pedicured (fair assumption?) feet in her mouth.


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