Britney-Spears-vegas-promo-2013-new-december

It’s time to wake up and smell the sweet tea, y’all: Britney‘s kind of over it.

It’s no secret that my faith in the Holy Spearit’s devotion to her craft has been sort of dwindling throughout this era (and even before that, c’mon). Despite whatever Larry Rudolph/will.i.am/label executives are telling you, you only have to listen to what Britney herself is actually saying to understand where she’s at.

From Extra:

The “Baby One More Time” singer said after her two-year stint at Planet Hollywood, with a total of 96 shows, she may retire. “I might, who knows… I may have two more kids and get married… I’d like to have more kids.”

See? She’s thinking about marriage and babies. She’s not thinking about being a pop star. Sure, who knows? Maybe she was just having an off day and was feeling tired from rehearsal. But if Britney wants to retire, Britney should just retire. (And honestly, the fact that her reaction to that question wasn’t “No, of course not, I love being an entertainer!” is already more than telling enough.)

Let’s not get it twisted: Godney’s delivered unto us seven absolutely incredible teachings (and a decent eighth one) over the past 15 years, along with amazing tours and electrifying live performances. She will now and forever remain an icon. Obviously.

But there’s nothing worse to me than the idea of Britney being forced to do another album, another tour, another round of promotional performances (or lack thereof) if she doesn’t want to do this. That’s just no good.

The idea of a Britney-less music world is devastating, given that she’s been my everything since ’98 — but between the mediocrity of Britney Jean, the endlessly uncomfortable interviews and now this — it just doesn’t feel like Britney wants to be Britney The Pop Star at this point. I want Britney to be happy more than I want her to a pop star. She wants to be with her babies and hang with Jamie Lynn on a couch. So why should she be sad? (REFERENCE).

That’s not to say that she won’t find inspiration down the road. Who knows? Maybe after five years straight of cheese grits, sweet tea and small town livin’, she’ll hear herself humming along to “Toxic” over the speakers in a local Target and think to herself: “Wait a minute. I’m a living legend. Larry, fireworks!” And the grand return will begin.

But for now, that’s not where we’re at. At all.

That’s not to say she’s completely checked out: I’ve no doubt that the Las Vegas show will be a massive pop spectacle, and I’m still excited to see her on New Years Eve. (I hear she’s actually dancing hard!) I’m sure that I Am Britney Jean will be fun, cool and urban — and perhaps even revelatory. But the Britney I know and love actually wants to do this, and the drop in her enthusiasm lately is, um, noticeable.

Perhaps it’s time to take Britney’s own advice from one of her beautiful unreleased ballads: To love, you have to let go. And if she wants to, guess who knows how to pull off a comeback better than anyone? It’s Britney, bitch.