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The Six Stages of Learning Grimes Is Dating Elon Musk

Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images

I realize this may ruin my chances to get evacuated to Mars if/when humans destroy Earth, but I don’t like Elon Musk very much. On no grounds other than my innate distrust of rich, white Silicon Valley “disrupters,” he’s always given me Batman villain-in-waiting vibes (and his embrace of union-busting tactics at his car factories doesn't do him any favors).

Which is why, when I learned on Monday that he’s dating Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Grimes, I felt totally betrayed—in my mind, she’s a bastion of smart feminism, one of the good ones. The first time I saw her perform, I filled an iCloud note with slightly stoned ruminations about how cool she looked up there, flanked by fierce female backup dancers dressed like kawaii monster girls. Even her embrace of mainstream pop came off as a sort of fame-based thought experiment. Shouldn’t someone so intelligent be impervious to the charms of a billionaire who strapped a Tesla to a rocket ship for funsies? Is she really as susceptible to social media courtship as I was at 22, when I let a stupid boy who had really “good” taste in music seduce me on Spotify?


As we all come to terms with Grimes and Elon Musk's merger, let's go through the six stages of learning about the relationship together:

1. Shock

Someone posted a link to the Page Six article announcing they’re “quietly dating” in Slack, and I’m screaming. This may be the most incongruous couple of all time. What does she see in him? Isn’t Elon like 46 years old? How the heck did they meet? And they’re going to the Met Gala together? How long has this been going on??

2. Denial

Hold on, Page Six has no idea what they’re talking about. They refer to Boucher as “hip musician Grimes,” which makes them sound like old fuddy-duddies, so clearly they’re not a reputable publication. And who is this "source" for this bizarre meet-cute?

A source tells us the pair met around a month ago online, of course, through a joke Musk had planned to tweet but discovered Grimes had already made, dealing with the complications of artificial intelligence.

I’m not buying it. Fake news!

3. Anger

Oh my God, does this mean Elon googles all his jokes before he tweets them? And since he tweeted about the video for “Venus Fly,” a song from 2015, in March 2018, does this mean he’d never heard of Grimes before googling his punny AI joke? I’m picturing Elon tooling around California in his souped-up Tesla blasting Grimes’s discography and later Wikipedia-ing everything about her and thinking to himself, Wow, she’s pretty hot. BARF.


And here’s another thing: When Elon googled his super intellectual joke and found out a much smarter woman had already made it three years earlier, he wasn’t humbled? He decided to slide into her DMs instead of getting her number from a friend and asking her out to coffee or taking her for a ride in his helicopter or something? Are men honestly this emotionally stunted, that they can be wildly rich and successful and still inclined to flirt in the least vulnerable way possible—by tweeting at a woman? This feels like the 2018 equivalent of throwing rocks at girls on the playground. Or poking someone on Facebook.

4. Bargaining

Maybe Grimes is smarter than we all thought. Maybe she has some celebrity insider information about the state of our planet, and she’s just doing this for the guaranteed ticket to Mars. She can't… like him, right? Right?

5. Grief

Or maybe I was wrong about Grimes being this icon of wokeness. Maybe she’s just human, like the rest of us and bowled over by Elon’s outsize fame and influence. Maybe she’s in it for the unfathomable riches. Maybe she wants to be the Poison Ivy to his Mr. Freeze.

Now I’m scrolling through Elon’s Twitter feed, trying to find the OG “Rococo Basilisk” banter, but I’m getting distracted by the sheer breadth of things the dude seems to be working on. He’s over here tweeting about Willy Wonka cosplay and starting a candy company with Warren Buffet. And building cyborg dragons. And selling flamethrowers. And starting an intergalactic media company called Thud! staffed by former Onion writers. And digging tunnels for super fast car-trains. And launching more rockets than NASA or Pyongyang. I realize a lot of these are jokes. But I'm not sure which ones.


6. Acceptance

Shoot, the flamethrower looks pretty cool. Dangerous, yes. But cool. I could see how Grimes might see him goofing off with a flamethrower on Instagram and be like, “Aw, look at this quirky billionaire joking about torching zombies!”

Aside from having the same sense of humor, he seems to appreciate her music. And they’re both into nerd culture, like anime and sci-fi. Maybe Grimes actually believes in the work he’s doing. I mean, making renewable energy more accessible is a noble endeavor, any way you slice it. Also Grimes hates flying and doesn’t really drive, so I could see her being very pro-tunnel transit.

Shoot… Grimes and Elon Musk are starting to seem like a pretty good match. I still think Boucher looks a little shocked that they’re an item (same, girl) in all their photos together, but I’m beginning to make peace with it. Grimes, Elon—you have my blessing. You're welcome.

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Follow Kara Weisenstein on Twitter.