What does Hollywood love even more than comebacks and second chances? If you guessed “combining two names to become one,” then have we got the saga for you. On April 30, as another 13-day week was crawling to a close, the story that no one had on their 2021 bingo card sent shockwaves coursing through the Internet: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were hanging out, at her house, in Los Angeles. Within an hour it was if current events ceased to matter as folks were blissfully whisked away to a simpler time, back when “Bennifer” were on the cover of every magazine, ushering in the era of the celeb-couple portmanteau. Or at least back to pre-pandemic 2020, when Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s reunion at the SAG Awards also made many people wonder if perhaps the world was slowly but surely righting itself. No such luck there. More like, Earth was about to spin off its axis and it’s hard to believe that mask-free, up-close-and-personal event even happened just last year. Within an hour, it was if current events ceased to matter as folks were blissfully whisked away to a simpler time, back when ‘Bennifer’ were on the cover of every magazine, ushering in the era of the celeb-couple portmanteau But this moment felt similar, nonetheless-delicious, carefree and so refreshingly unimportant but at the same time a pop culture emergency. Because while at the end of the day a sighting of Affleck getting dropped off at Lopez’s mansion shouldn’t be confused for anything other than it was-two single friends spending a little time together-hot damn if the Twitterverse didn’t have thoughts. Why, however, did an 18-month-long romance that started almost 19 years ago cause so many palpitations? It’s not only pandemic anxiety talking. What is it about certain celebrities together-even though in this case each has been through so much since-that just leaves an indelible impression in people’s hearts and minds, a memory preserved in amber just waiting to be dug up whenever the opportunity arises? “I think different time, different thing, who knows what could’ve happened, but there was a genuine love there,” Lopez told People in May 2016. “We didn’t try to have a public relationship,” she continued. “We just happened to be together at the birth of the tabloids, and it was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was just a lot of pressure.” Affleck recently had a similar take, saying on the Jan. 14 episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, “Me dating Jennifer Lopez happened to be that tabloid story at the time when that business grew exponentially. When they realized there’s actually a 10 times bigger audience for our product than we are selling to.” And with Bennifer, the press had struck gold, spinning as much as they could-almost as if they didn’t trust it to be the real thing.