I don’t have any sort of personal connection to Ashley Tisdale. Thinking of her inspires in me the same unemotional peacefulness that arises when someone tells me a story about a stranger whom they’ve erroneously assumed I also know. But I’ve been pushed to my limit.
“EXCLUSIVE: Ashley Tisdale Reacts to Shocking Revelation That Austin Butler Is Her Cousin: ‘I Started to Get Emotional,’” says an Us Weekly headline. A shockwave travels over God’s peaceful earth. Birds stop flying mid-air. A gopher’s jaw drops. Fish lie flat on the seabed. No one knows quite how to act in this strange but beautiful new world wherein Ashley Tisdale and Austin Butler are cousins. Perhaps it might help to learn more about it.
According to Us Weekly, the revelation came in “a new episode of Ancestry’s 2 Lies and a Leaf.” The outlet gives no further information about how genealogy company Ancestry has, I guess, a web series, or why it is called 2 Lies and a Leaf. After conducting our own research, it seems the series is available on YouTube and past guests include Lance Bass and Meghan Trainor. From there we will move on.
When looking into her ancestry, Ancestry discovered that one of Ashley Tisdale’s ancestors owned a movie theater in New Jersey. Obviously we are thrilled for her regarding this discovery. Another ancestor “invented a bedazzler.” Notice that we did not learn that Ashley Tisdale’s ancestor invented the Bezazzler. From the information we have, Ashley Tisdale’s ancestor simply created what one can only assume was an inferior tool for bedazzing. Still, it is important that she knows it.
And finally we’ve arrived at Austin Butler. “... She learned that the Elvis star, 31, is her 10th cousin once removed.” They share an English ancestor named Richard Scruggs, who died in 1669.
“I texted him as soon as I heard and he replied right away saying, ‘NO F-ING WAY!,’” Ashley Tisdale said about her close friend Austin Butler, whom she knows from their shared time in High School Musical. (He was also a groomsman at her wedding.) “He was just as shocked as I was. To know this whole time that we’re actually cousins – it’s just so wild.”
Okay — well. Okay.
Obviously I wish Ashley Tisdale the best. Being related to her friend Ausin Butler seems to bring her great joy. And of course, we thank Ancestry dot com for, for some reason, looking into Austin Butler’s ancestry alongside Ashley Tisdale’s to find out whether the two might possibly be related. That was nice of them and a good idea re: creating an anecdote for blog aggregation. But we must exist in reality. I yearn only to carry out an honest life.
10th cousin once removed is not a cousin.
That’s just a guy.