We broke up.
I mean, they broke up. My favorite YouTuber and her bae.
I am pants-less and sprawled on my couch eating Trader Joe’s ravioli watching someone who I do not know in real life explain the end of her romantic relationship. Emotions course through my voyeuristic veins. Oooh, girl this is gonna be good, I whisper, and click to Chromecast the video onto my television.
I’m not one to leave comments under every video I watch on YouTube, but I am the physical embodiment of the “eyes peeking through the grass” emoji. I’ve been through this many times, and it’s still cringe-y. So cringe-y that I cannot look away. I embrace what comes next.
First, there’s denial.
The Breakup Announcement Video is titled “We Need To Talk” or “Story Time: I Was Dumped.” If a YouTuber is feeling obnoxious and wants to give an air of nonchalance: “We Broke Up?!” Don’t clickbait me with that last one, fam. Don’t be the boy who cried breakup. Nobody likes that person. I may be messy, but I am fragile.
Her thumbnail photo is still posed and designed, but what’s this? A downtrodden facial expression, uncharacteristic of her bubbly personal brand. Maybe a cry-face-emoticon to drive home sadness.
Gah! The suspense is killing me. Before the pre-roll ad finishes, I’ve already scrolled through the comments to understand what’s going on. Oh my god. This is real. Y’all are through. I take another bite of my ravioli. Girl, what happened?!
Her explanation could be winding and vague or detailed and tearful. Absolutely nothing’s worse than the reverse though: tearful and vague. You already got my view count sis, just dish the dirt! Midway through the 11:23 monologue, I feel…angry?
Really, Evelyn? Yes. Yes I am. Because I never asked for this and I hate you for putting me, your loyal subscriber, in this position. You mean to tell me the person who you forced me to watch in every vlog, the co-star to your online shenanigans, is just gone? Couldn’t say bye first? Can I still watch Ex Bae? Because plot twist: I started to like your now-ex more than you anyway. Second plot twist: I follow your now-ex on every social media platform, mostly because you shared it with us, but no matter. Do I have to unfollow Ex Bae? Is this suddenly weird??
My parents are still married, but I somehow feel triggered? Love is pointless and always ends in pain, I think to myself as I polish off my ravioli. Everybody leaves. Everybody!
The video ends and I re-read all the top comments for commentary and context. I am not proud, but the next emotion that washes over my body is pettiness.
I go full-on Catfish The TV Show. I watch every video within the last month. Was Ex Bae acting weird in last week’s vlog? Oooh, they stopped posting selfies together on IG three weeks ago. My favorite YouTuber’s 300 second Snapchat rant yesterday was definitely about this…
Real thoughts I’ve had:
+ Good, Ex Bae wasn’t nearly as attractive as you. #Upgrade!
+ Are you going to delete all the videos of you two together? That’s ad revenue, girl!
+ Who gon’ move out the apartment? WHO WILL KEEP THE DOG?!
+ So we’re really not getting a wedding vlog, are we? Wow. What a waste.
I end my shady YouTube binge with a condescending mix of sympathy and embarrassment. What were they thinking, sharing this part of their life with strangers on the Internet? I would never get into such a situation, I assure myself.
I get it. The heart wants what it wants, and sometimes it wants to do the Couples 1-2-3-Tag. Just leave me out of it next time.
Collage by Emily Zirimis.