(I took this picture on my walk this morning. It was interesting to carry a camera--I usually don't--I found myself really looking at what I was seeing, if you know what I mean.)
I'm working on a new sweater from the Fall 2006 Interweave Knits. At the bottom of the pattern is a little bio note for the designer which informs me that she "lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and daughter on a farm full of sheep, pigs, chickens, cats and dogs."
That description is like catnip to me. Lives on a farm? in western Mass.? With her husband and her daughter and pigs and chickens and cats and dogs? Could anything be more perfect?
Now, instead of enjoying the thought of this woman living her life on her farm, I start getting anxious about it. Shouldn't that be my life? Why don't I live on a farm designing knitware and baking bread all day with my little daughter in her adorable overalls while the chickens cluck outside the kitchen window and the light streams through the curtains and dances across the floor. Shouldn't I be living this life? Isn't this the perfect, problem-free life that I so richly deserve?
Forget the fact that I'm almost forty-five and know that no such life exists. Forget the fact that I'm fully aware that this woman has a laundry list of problems as long as mine, maybe even longer.
Forget the fact that I've actually lived in western Massachusetts, and while it is beautiful and scenic and all that, it snows from October through May. I hate snow. I went through month-long funks living in western Massachusetts because the snow wouldn't go away.
Forget the fact I've actually stayed on a farm in western Massachusetts. A scenic farm with cows and pigs. And lots of cow and pig manure. It smelled to high heaven. You couldn't get away from the smell. I did not smell that smell and have deep, meaningful thoughts about nature's ever-spinning cycles. My thoughts about those smells were irritated and surly and not at all friendly.
Forget all of that. It is January and I am human and I will romanticize this woman's life if I want to.
But to balance it out, I'll try to imagine how, if she read my short little bio, she might start romanticizing mine.