From the outside in

I’ve been feeling exasperated with Heather Armstrong lately (and why do I keep reading, you might ask), the one whose blog makes so much money her husband quit his job just to manage her business and who has two great (well, maybe) children and two cool dogs and a huge fancy new house (office design sponsored by Verizon), what with her bragging about getting to meet Arcade Fire one night, and hang out with some theoretically beautiful model (I thought she was pretty ugly) just a few days later (not to mention the Verizon plugs), but today I read this:

… the last eight months or so have been pretty hard, and I’m struggling. I’ve pushed through with as much strength as I can, but that dark demon has returned and is trying to convince me that it’s not worth climbing over the next obstacle. Give up. Lie down and cry. Stare at the ceiling until every limb goes numb.

I visit a woman in a county home for indigents (one of my hospice patients who ended up not dying), who’s just about the only non-demented person on her floor, whose room is kind of like a Gertrude Stein salon (on a more gossipy level) for all the aides and nurses. She told me yesterday she has a friend (who has a husband and a daughter and a house and a job) who says she’s envious of her, there in the county home.

All of which is to say (thanks to Tolstoy) that “each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” no matter how it looks from the outside; and also to say that I’m sorry, Heather, for ever criticizing you.

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