Anthony, Jeff and Christine’s deli guy: I felt like my organs were made of glass and someone took a sledgehammer to my body, shattering them to pieces. Now I’m just a skin bag full of broken glass. They should have gone the distance.
Phoebe, Jeff’s boss at Pfizer: He brought Christine to the Christmas party and the minute I saw them together I thought, oh of course. It just made you believe that there really is that perfect someone for everyone. They proved it. There was no doubt in my mind that they belonged together, and they were going to stay together. When I found out they broke up, I gave up hope of ever finding anyone worth my time. I’m still single.
Grey’s Anatomy star Sandra Oh: We had been shooting a scene where McDreamy finds out he has a rash and my assistant stopped the taping to tell me my agent had an urgent call. He said it plain. Jeff and Christine. I asked what Jeff had done and he said, “That’s the weird thing. I don’t think either of them really cheated or anything. I think they just decided.” I couldn’t get my head around that.
Mrs. Palmer, Christine’s mother: She was a willful child. When I heard that they’d broken up, that’s what I thought. She’d always been a willful child.
Country music singer Keith Urban: I’d been following their relationship from the beginning. We all had I guess. When they went home from that bar’s trivia night together, and they slept together for the first time, I think the whole world just knew. This is it, we thought. We did it. Two people finally got love right. And by them getting it right, it felt like we all had gotten it right. So when they broke up, I went to a dark place inside. I haven’t come out of it yet.
This guy Max who used to see them in the waiting area of a Thai place in their neighborhood, where they’d wait to pick up their takeout Thai food: I quit my job. I left my kids and my wife. Fuck it. Jeff and Christine can’t make it, fuck it. I got work on a boat and ended up in Alaska.
Barack Obama, current President of the United States: We were in the situation room, watching the live feed from the chopper as Seal Team Six approached Bin Laden’s hideout, when two of my staffers came in, their faces wet with tears. “We’re in the middle of something here,” I said. “Mr. President,” they said. “You’re going to want to hear this.”
Darren, their upstairs neighbor: I’m the only tenant who still lives in the building. Six tenants took their own lives within a month. Everyone else moved away. They couldn’t stand knowing that deep, wondrous love had moved out. I leased their apartment and I keep it empty. People on pilgrimage occasionally buzz the building so they can look at it. It means something to see the four walls. They need to know that kind of devotion can be contained in a space as small as a 1.5 bedroom apartment.
Gary Burghoff (‘Radar’ from M*A*S*H): I blamed Christine. For a while. Her job at that market research firm sapped a lot of her hours. And she started that book club in their apartment without asking Jeff. Eventually I realized no one was to blame. But the minute I heard, all I thought was, man, talk about incoming wounded.
Some robot: Jeff and Christine were important to the humans. They were ordinary people who worked for a living and had to struggle to make a life, so they represented the majority of the population. They found a love that, by all accounts and appearances, seemed to be the caliber of love that every human desires. When that love died, it made the humans lose hope that such a connection is sustainable. I don’t understand love, but I understood Jeff and Christine.
Neither Jeff nor Christine agreed to be interviewed for this project. These statements in no way reflect the feelings or opinions of Jeff or Christine.
Happy Excerpt From An Oral History Of The Day Jeff And Christine Broke Up Day!