Almost every religion extols the virtue of, well, virtue, so it seemed necessary that at some point in this spiritual journey, I would have to test my dedication. (You know, forty days wandering the desert and whatnot.)
Now, the testing of one's virtue is not to be taken lightly, and I knew that in order to truly prove my goodness, I had to go all out. There would be no Lenten sacrifice of candy or meat for me, nothing so routine as an observation of the Sabbath. I was going big, or I was going home.
I was giving up Britney.
A sacrifice of this magnitude is no trivial task. This was no informal resolution, no personal promise. This was an oath, a binding covenant, a vow taken under God and alongside a shot of Jameson: I would never again click on a photo or link about Britney Spears, buy a magazine with her name on it, or watch the E! True Hollywood Story about this young girl from Kentwood, Louisiana.
It was time to cut Britney out of my life, for the sake of my sanity, and more importantly, for hers.
Britney Jean Spears. She of the no underpants. She of the missed court dates. She of the head shaving, baseball batting, paparazzi-loving, one-woman train wreck. And I'd had enough rubbernecking to last a lifetime.
Don't get me wrong - I love celebrity gossip as much as the next person, and my lunchtimes are spent scouring the web for juicy tidbits of the latest scandal. But the coverage on Britney has crossed over to a place where I am not willing to go. She is no longer a petulant pop star, rebelling against the rigors of the entertainment industry machine. She is sick.
Britney Spears is a sadly, and sickeningly (no pun intended) ill woman, and I refuse to be complicit in the money-making massacre that is the coverage of her life. It is time to let Britney rest in peace.
So, I have spent the last 10 days in a monk-like state of solitude, hermited away from the modern world and it's trappings of temptation. I've learned to avert my eyes, plug my ears, and press Ctrl+W faster than you can say, "Oops...I Did It Again." But my trial has not been without tribulations.
So-called "friends" and supporters have shown their true-colors, mocking me, ignoring my pleas for mercy and shouting tales of Sam Lufti and his scheming ways.
My own boyfriend, a banker, who claims to have no privacy at work and an inability to make personal phone calls, called me today to ask me if I'd heard the newest Britney news. I hung up on him.
And the very worst, my editor, the editor of this very page you are looking at, stooped so low as to create fake e-mails with Britney-related subject lines, just to see if I'd open them. (A Confession: I did. But only because my professional loyalty is such that I thought it had to be some sort of HuffPo emergency. Yeah, right.)
But in the end, virtue triumphed over vice. I made it through the fires, past the persecution, and into the light. And I can tell you right now, my soul is all the better for it. Because I'm not afraid to admit that I care about Britney, and if everyone else could do the same, the world would be a lot better place for it.