The Jennifer Aniston question

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After two decades in the spotlight, Jennifer Aniston and her troubled relationships continue to make news. This week, it is reported that she and Justin Theroux, her husband of two years and probably her thousandth relationship with a man, have separated.

This tidbit is enough to send Aniston fans and sob-sister reporters crying in their coffee once again. For me, it only inspires the eternal question:

When did America become Jennifer Aniston’s babysitter?

By one website’s count, Aniston, one way or another, has been involved with 14 men of note (most notably Brad Pitt, to whom she was famously married for five years). And those are just the guys we know about.

And every time Aniston suffers a break-up, everyone from gossip columnists to supposedly legit journalists jump on the bandwagon, cluck their clucks, and try to determine what it would take for poor, beleaguered Jen to have a steady relationship.

Why do we devote so much energy to the romantic entanglements of this woman? There are probably millions of women who have gone through as much heartache as — maybe more than — Aniston has. And most of them probably do not have the millions of dollars she has to cushion the pain.

This pop-psycho examination might have been fashionable when Aniston was a perky young TV star, but she celebrated her 49th birthday this week. Perhaps it’s time we let Aniston spread her wings, leave the nest of our inquisitive minds, and figure out her relationships on her own.