(note: there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, so this is a longer than usual post to make up for my absence…)
a soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch.
• figurative something that appears to be standing guard or keeping watch.
ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from French sentinelle, from Italian sentinella, of unknown origin.
When Blake Lively got married to Ryan Reynolds (
on my birthday. I’m not bitter. Really.) the reactions were a little something like this:
How did two big celebrities manage to keep a wedding so secret?
Oooh. When the industry’s eyes would be on TIFF. Smart move.
WHY THE FUCK DID HE MARRY HER?!?!
(Now. Before I continue, let me state that I’m using this example to illustrate behaviours displayed by many a Sentinelle. Ryan and Blake could have a love that lives forever, but for my purposes, I’m using information taken from gossip blogs over the past few years.)
Blake (or, as I like to call her, the mush mouth stick figure with no soul) is master of the game. The Hollywood PR machine, gossip manipulation, etc. etc. B was born into the industry. She knows. When she pulled off this coup, I sat back and applauded her. Post Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, Blake came to everyone’s attention with Gossip Girl, a nighttime soap.
But B wanted to be more than a “soap actress”…she wanted to be a “serious actress” with credibility. Not be viewed as just the star of a soap opera for teenagers. So, she did what starlets have done for years when they want to transition from “starlet” to “star”… she got down with it. Her first (rumoured) conquest was Ben Affleck…boom. She was in the gritty drama “The Town”. Ben’s married. Ben’s an actor/writer/director. He can use her, but she couldn’t use him to propel herself forward.
On her next major film, she met her target. Our boy Ryan. It was rumored that his marriage was on the rocks, so both parties “seized the opportunity” during production. Except, instead of becoming a power couple, Ryan said, “peace out babe, see you at the premiere…maybe we’ll hook up on the press tour.”
But B knew what she wanted. So she went into Sentinelle mode…
She set up watch…
Ryan called for the occasional hookup, and for the first couple of times, Blake obliged.
But after that, the samples ran out. Like any good dealer, Blake’s goodies now came at a price. Ryan wasn’t willing to play/pay. After all, she was an ambitious woman who wanted to reach the top levels of her field. Ryan was married to that…and soon to be divorced from that. Bodacious sexy blondes who act? Dime a dozen. Ryan wanted a “normal” girl. One who was about family, baking, quiet time. Not red carpets and in depth interviews with Vanity Fair. Blake was good for good times; she had proven this. But to be someone for the long haul? No.
She loaded her ammunition.
Now, we all know that whole thing that when a woman breaks up with a guy she goes through the “big change”. If he dumped her, and she wasn’t ready for it, she’ll do a whole bunch of stuff to make herself feel better. BUT, she’ll make dammed sure HE knows. Suddenly, Facebook is filled with self-improvement quotes on pretty backdrops like this:
Her status messages talk about “time to go to the gym! Go hard or go home!” Her tweets say things like “love only makes you stronger…your strength is tested when the love is lost”. She sends out mass emails to friends inviting them to a fabulous party, or to tell friends she’s going on vacation, and oopsie…accidentally cc’s you. She mis-texts you. Hey, if you call drunk off your ass for some sex one night, she’ll ignore the call…and send you an angry text the next day.
The Sentinelle? She doesn’t do anything so obvious to target you. You’ll be on FB one day and see a picture of her out at a party. It’s her new cover image. She’s surrounded by laughing friends and… has she lost weight? Changed her hair? She’s looking good, still. The comments are from various friends complimenting, her and she’s thanking each person. You hit “Like”.
She says nothing.
You bump into her and she’s looking as good as that photo. She’s got you in a total “rear view” moment. She smiles politely and says, “things are good? Great!” You suggest coffee the next day. She smiles really big and says, “I would LOVE to! But…”
Blake’s “I would love to…but” moments and FB posts were played out in the tabloids. With that guy who starred in the biggest romantic movie ever? The one with the song? The giant boat? For 5 months, Ryan watched the timeline of Blake and Leo. She did not “court” the paparazzi…but what was a girl to do? She was having a relationship with someone who was “bigger” than Ryan. If he drunk dialed, she STILL wouldn’t ignore the call. She’d answer and say, “hey! What’s up? Oh, yeah. I’m just sleeping/out with friends/on my way to the South of France. Yeah…hope you’re good though!”
Because she was. Genuinely. But she was watching.
Say… you move on. Start seeing someone else. But you can’t get your mind off her. Things aren’t going so well. In fact, the new girl is putting up cryptic complaints on FB – which you see – and they are in direct contrast to the Sentinelle’s instagrammed brunch photos…brunch is out of town by the way.
She lines up the target in her sights…
With Blake, there were these photos? The nekkid kind? That “leaked”? She denied it was even her. But birthmarks and moles kind of have a way of identifying people. There was enough doubt to absolve her (bravo PR team). The story was that the images were taken from her phone and…possibly…they were intended for Leo’s eyes only.
But Ryan saw them. Trust.
The Sentinelle won’t post thirst pics on FB, no. Her on vacation in a bikini, though? Same effect.
Designed to get you thinking about that body…and how it felt.
And how someone else is getting it.
Your boys see the pics and say ,“damn! You could’ve had that all the time?”
Coulda. Shoulda. Woulda.
You reach out again. She still answers. But her tone is softer. Conciliatory. Apologetic.
“(sigh) I like you. I really do. But, my head’s in a different place now. I’m not like that anymore. I know what I want in life now…I want…”
Now Blake didn’t have this convo directly with Ryan. She had it with Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar… and shit like that. She talked about wanting a quiet life when Gossip Girl ended. Kids. LOTS of kids. A house on a farm. A normal life.
She gave enigmatic smiles on the red carpet – the ones she walked alone. No Leo. SHE (according to reports) dumped HIM. Reportedly, he didn’t take the rejection well.
Yup. Blake wanted Ryan, and she turned down the guy millions of women would give their left tit for. Because that’s not what she wanted. No playboys. Just a regular guy. Who would happily sample all the cupcakes she loved making. Seriously that’s not a euphemism for sex. She talks about baking all the damn time.
Let’s backtrack a sec. Blake, rumoured to be the mistress of many, cutthroat about her career, and had naked photos all over the internet, now just wants to bake cupcakes.
She’s still the muse of Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel) and getting carried out of nightclubs by Christian Louboutin (he of the red soles). But she makes a mean banana bread.
She embodied the Madonna/Whore fantasy…beautifully.
What man wouldn’t want fresh baked goodies? (I mean that both literally and euphemistically) Hell, the Sentinelle will even send you a batch of goodies on your birthday…double entendre intended.
She cocks the trigger.
You bump into the Sentinelle one day. It’s awkward. For YOU. You comment on the weight loss. She demurs and says, “yeah, went on health kick. Feel amazing. You’re looking good too!” You comment on all the activity in her life…ask about that vacation. She excitedly shows you pics – but quickly bypasses the bikini ones(“you don’t need to see that *blush*”). You try for coffee.
She smiles. Slowly.
“I’d like that. How’s next Tuesday for you?”
You upgrade the coffee to dinner. You lock in another date. Then another. You have the “conversation” after three months. She still makes cupcakes. Even dinner. She still throws it down in the bedroom like you remember. Her goals are completely in line with yours…this is great. You got a second chance. With the one that got away.
(Except. She never really went anywhere.)
You start packing boxes. To move into your new space. You plan kids. You buy a ring.
Congratulations Mrs. Reynolds.
*NB – Blake had a small wedding, no press. Very romantic. So they say…we won’t see the pictures until later this year, when they’re published in Martha Stewart Weddings. The Domestic Goddess herself was in attendance. Blake could teach a Master Class in this…that’s what you call stellar. Every starlet is now saving room on their inspiration boards for that photo…