Man oh man. I went over to Dooce last night because I used to be in love with her when I found her which was when she was just a young thing writing about sex and stuff and I discovered that she and her husband have separated.
I am not surprised. What did surprise me though, was how hateful a lot of people are about the fact that this has occurred. I mean, people are like THRILLED that she has gotten her comeuppance and it shamed me for the human race. She and her husband may have made a fortune (or probably not really) and bought a big house and hired nannies and office workers and so forth but still, they are people and it hurts when love gets fucked up and besides that, they have two children.
Two children who, no matter how the separation is handled, are going to suffer. A lot.
And so are the adults. This is just the truth of it. And why in the world would we want to see any family suffer?
Are we so filled with shadenfreude that we are tickled pink when the mighty are laid low?
And let's face it- Heather Armstrong didn't just lay on a chaise lounge and have the bon-bons of good fortune fall into her lap. The woman has worked hard. She seems to know no other way but to work hard and I think that's the deal. When she was just a lowly office worker blogging about her coworkers and her boss, we could all relate. Same when she first got married and they had to live in her parent's basement. But she didn't just stop there. She and her husband pulled it all together and struggled through hard times and severe depression and Salt Lake City winters and she wrote books and she got help and she talked about it and she ran a marathon and oh hell, I don't know. I haven't followed that closely. But I do know she is not a lie-about. Say what you will about her but she surely isn't lazy. She has worked harder at it than most of us are willing to do.
I say I was not surprised to see that they have separated. It has seemed to me for quite a while that Jon, the husband, has felt redundant in the situation. The empire which they founded was quite frankly the Dooce Empire. He may have worked as hard as she did but the glory was hers even if the benefits came to both and let's face it-it is hard to stand in the reflected light of someone else's glory for a long time. Real hard whether you are a man or a woman. And he got called terrible names. Sexist names. Let's not even talk about how hard it is to live with and love someone who suffers from depression. And we will never know exactly all of what happened behind the doors they have kept closed to the world. Nor should we. Ain't our business.
It also seemed to me that they couldn't get enough of the "stuff." New bathrooms, new furniture, new this and that and then a house. And Dooce was suddenly every where. HGTV? What happened with that? And I was like, why would they pay her to talk about decorating when that's not her job? Cooking? She admits she can't boil noodles. It seemed that instead of sticking to what she was so good at which was writing about everyday life, she was suddenly living a very NOT everyday life and so in success, she lost her focus, her very reason for being who she was.
And everyone (or a lot of people, anyway) have applauded that. Because she reached too far and fell from the ladder? What kind of crap is that? She writes a blog, for god's sake and she has been tremendously successful at it and hell, we're always saying you should reach for the stars. Is it that if someone actually catches one or two we then are allowed to hate them?
Hey. I'm not defending Heather Armstrong and I'm certainly not saying that her relationship is any more important than anyone else's on this planet but I AM saying that it sure shows a meanness of spirit to be glad of her problems.
At least she, unlike another famous blogger whom I will not name (but who has also built an empire and she sells cookbooks and her husband is famous for his butt in jeans and chaps) hasn't pretended for one moment that she is untroubled or perfect and yes, she does take too many pictures of her dogs for my taste but at least they're not beagles. And she hasn't been afraid to discuss religion and politics and sex and sadness and she hasn't pretended that she lives in a perfect world made up of photoshopped vistas of cowboy kids and herds of cattle as far as the eye can see under a perfect sky.
Wait. Hold on. I'm doing it too. I admit it. I begrudge Pioneer Woman's (whoops!) every bit of fame and fortune. I have no idea why. But I do.
But would I be happy if she and her husband broke up?
I really don't think so. Every bit of unhappiness and sorrow in this world makes this world a less than beautiful place.
Suffering sucks, no matter how famous, how rich, the person doing it is.
And all of the fine furniture and book contracts in the world aren't going to change that.
Well, that's what I'm thinking about this morning. That we are all, at the very least, connected by our sorrows. That to celebrate the sorrows of another shows smallness of spirit and lack of compassion.
Owen will be here soon. It is time to close up this computer and become MerMer and then to get ready and drive to Monticello and become Harriet Copeland, feminist romance novel book publisher (haha!) and all of that takes all of the energy I have. I am so grateful for this life. I, too, have gone through separation and divorce. I, too, have been a single mother. And here I am now and it's because of the sorrows I've gone through that I can be so grateful for the sweetness now.
And I ain't gonna be happy for anyone else having to go through it but I know that it's human to want more and to suffer and to feel as if the world is crashing in on oneself and that eventually, things get worked out and we go on.
Happy Friday, y'all.