Parenting

Dear Kermit: I'm Not Mad About Your New Girlfriend...

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Of all the celebrity couple splits, the recent announcement that Kermit and Miss Piggy were calling it quits was pretty devastating to me. I’m a product of the late 1970s, so growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, my life included plenty of Muppet mania. In fact, my husband’s cousin interned for Jim Henson and when I found out, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stab him or be him. The Muppet envy-slash-awe runs deep, friends.

In terms of the couple, in some ways, it’s not so shocking that they didn’t last forever. To me, they seemed like a mismatch from the get-go, given that Kermit came off as the quiet (yet lovable as all get out, let’s face it) counterpart to Piggy, who was clearly wearing the pants, shoes and jacket in the relationship (one karate chop at a time, I might add). To say that there was a bit of a lack in complementing one another would be putting it mildly. But, none of that means a relationship can’t work–it just means theirs didn’t.

So, sure, it’s jarring to learn that not only is this match over, but Kermit has a new babe in his life. Her name’s Denise and she’s younger and thinner than Piggy. It turns out that not everyone approves of his relationship with this newer, svelter girl in town. It’s been argued that his new relationship sends the wrong message to children, as though the frog somehow “traded up” on a mythical Muppet attraction scale I’ve never heard of. It also wasn’t lost on the Internet that Kermit gave Piggy the heave-ho shortly after she declared herself a feminist. Ouch!

That said, a friend of mine pointed out that it’s pretty hard to fault Kermit for his moves given Piggy’s tendencies towards rage and outbursts. And, if you look closely, she does often come off as more bully than cream puff in public. But before we get carried away, let me just say that to me, there’s nothing cooler than an independent, strong, confident woman. I was raised by one and she taught me well. She managed to be ice cold at times, but always nurturing. She was able to walk a fine line between scaring the crap out of my brothers and me with one raised eyebrow or stern look and helping us know that “everything’s gonna be okay because Mom’s here” when we were sick. She was every bit as tough as she was soft. She’s awesome. She’s also a human person.

And so, here we are–humans in the modern world questioning a message put forth by puppets. Should we really hate on Kermit for cutting Piggy loose and dating Denise? Recall, he’s a puppet. A fleece frog. A character. He left a fleece pig for another fleece pig. I’m sorry, but spoiler alert: they’re not real. So any outrage at them to me comes off a bit like equal parts mystifying and hilarious–a-la the “Bert and Ernie are gay” rumors that swirled circa 1995. Being upset about the breakup for nostalgia’s sake is one thing–and I am with you on that. But, can’t we all keep calm and let the Muppets carry on? Can we at least try? I mean, hey, it’s also possible that the joke’s on us and this is all just a publicity stunt to get people to watch their new show. I mean, it’s not like that hasn’t happened before…right?

Finally, it looks like Piggy might be getting the last laugh, anyway. I hear she’s dating crooner Josh Groban–which makes even less sense, but at least that’s something. Maybe?