For six months, we basked in the light of Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s relationship. Six glorious months of matching tattoos, red-carpet PDAs and Instagram stories of their pet pig, Piggy Smallz. But, yesterday, the world clouded over as celebrity gossip site TMZ reported the apparently loved-up pair had gone their separate ways.
According to the report, the couple broke up because “it wasn’t the right time for their relationship to take off”. It’s completely understandable – last month, Ariana’s ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, died by suicide after a long battle with drug addiction. She honoured his death by posting a black and white picture of Mac and, though she was mid-album cycle, taking a break from the public eye, tweeting, “can i pls have one okay day. just one. pls”.
My love for Pete and Ariana’s relationship is no secret – I had the day off work yesterday (not because of the split, I feel compelled to point out) and four different people contacted me to ask if I was OK. I was, and I still am, but the world outside feels a little dimmer, knowing they’re no longer running around New York, licking lollipops and exuding Big Dick Energy.
In times like this, it’s important to focus on what you had, not what you didn’t, says Oprah, probably
I’m exaggerating (I’m not), but Ariana and Pete’s relationship did offer a ray of light in the otherwise murky and depressing news cycle. While Ariana was dedicating songs to Pete and Pete was telling the entire world he felt like he had “won a contest”, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn into the Supreme Court, Cristiano Ronaldo was accused of rape and a “sexy Handmaid” costume was created. What I’m getting at is that, for a while, it seemed like there was hope.
Remember how they got engaged? That was so Pete and Ariana. They were just in bed, having watched a movie (probably Spirited Away), and he just turned to her and asked her to marry him. It’s so anti-celebrity that it’s cool. And there was that time they bought a pig and called it Piggy Smallz. That’s what I’m doing now, focusing on all the good things. Not imagining what their wedding would be like (on a rooftop in New York, only their families and Nicki Minaj present, Piggy Smallz in a bow tie); not hoping they took part in a Rolling Stone photoshoot before their split (they both dress up as each other and it’s hilarious). In times like this, it’s important to focus on what you had, not what you didn’t, says Oprah, probably.
There were – and still are – non-believers. Many saw their youth, the speed at which the relationship was progressing and the fact that Pete’s ex-girlfriend was really nice as reasons not to get behind them. More sincerely, Pete made quite a few ill-judged jokes during the last six months, which many people deemed too offensive and crass for a man engaged to the people’s pop princess, Ariana Grande. What these people are forgetting is that Ariana Grande is a woman who released a song about not being able to walk after too much sex, and Pete Davidson begins his stand-up routine about his firefighter dad dying during 9/11. This is what they do... what they did, anyway.
I’ll miss Ariana and Pete, not only for their gushing monologues about each other, or their willingness to be open about their relationship, or the fact that – and it does bear repeating – they bought a pig, called it Piggy Smallz and then Pete got a tattoo of its face, but also because they were fun, in an "early noughties glossy magazine in the hairdresser’s" kind of way. And mainly because I don’t want to live in a world where the most exciting celebrity couple news is Elon Musk and Grimes visiting a pumpkin patch with his five kids.