A little backstory: Unless you were somehow living in a cave or under a rock in
2005, you could not miss the worldwide news sensation that was the breakup of
the marriage of "Friends" cutie
Jennifer Aniston and hunky movie star Brad Pitt. If you've forgotten—and let's
face it you haven't—Brad unceremoniously dumped Aniston after falling for his "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" co-star Angelina
Jolie. All these years later, Aniston can't escape questions about her ex
despite having moved on (and up in my opinion) to super-talented actor/writer
Despite all that, Aniston was gracious enough to say some
very kind things about Angelina Jolie this past week at the Critics' Choice
Awards. Aniston was there, nominated for her role in the movie "Cake." Jolie was there, representing the movie "Unbroken," which she directed. The
entertainment reporters on the red carpet that night hoped for a catfight, or
at least a few quotable catty remarks about one from the other.
In this case, it turns out where there's smoke there isn't
always fire. When asked about Jolie, Aniston was sincere and gracious saying Jolie's
film was "beautiful and wonderful." She even said Jolie did, "a gorgeous job." Aniston then
politely commented that she hoped the attention paid would be to the work in
either film, not to her failed marriage which she long since left in the past.
If Jennifer Aniston could find it in her heart to move on, clearly the rest of us can too.
I'm totally impressed. Truth be told, every woman could learn a thing or two from Jennifer
Aniston. I know I could.
I like to think of myself as a fair, diplomatic person, but
I'm not sure I'd be complimenting the work of a woman for whom my husband left
me. In fact, I'd probably be looking for an opportunity to throw shade her way
at any given opportunity. After all, isn't it easier to diss the other woman
rather than the man who committed his life to you and then cheated? Jennifer
Aniston has every reason to outwardly hate Angelina Jolie and yet, she's
telling the world to let it go. Clearly she has.
But for me, the lesson isn't just about infidelity and
moving on. It's about letting go of grudges or the injustices we've collected
and choosing to take the high road. Grudges and cattiness can be all-consuming and probably not that
healthy. We moms can be judgey and
grudgey toward other moms or kids whom we've perceive to have done us or our
child wrong. If Jennifer Aniston can take the high road, we moms don't need to
ice out the mom who didn't invite the whole class to her kid's birthday party
or call each other names because one did more for the PTA than the other. We
can just do like Jennifer Aniston and focus on what's important.
So while I never thought I'd be quoting Jennifer Aniston,
I'm going to think of her the next time I'm replaying a story in my head of the
friend who did me wrong or neighbor who forgot to invite my son to a play date, and I'm going to choose to take the high road. If Jennifer Aniston could find
it in her heart to move on, clearly the rest of us can too.
And while Aniston may not have gotten the Academy Award
nomination she wanted for her role in "Cake," she got something better. Have you
seen Justin Theroux? Yeah, she gets to go home with him. Looks like she got
everything she deserves.