Wishing You Well (But Not That Well)

Don’t compare their outsides to your insides.

My BFF said those words to me a few days before Christmas, when I was pretty much losing it. And by “it” I mean my composure, my sanity, my happiness. (We try to alternate days of losing it, so at least one person can be supportive. Kind of like Thelma & Louise.)

It’s just about impossible to look at social media or even the real world this week and not feel like Everybody’s Family is Perfect and Yours is Not. But everybody’s got stuff, as my friend tried to convince me. 

When I ran into Highland Park Market for the second time in an hour (the firefighter outside collecting items for the food pantry even noticed) I tried to look straight ahead and not notice the beautiful families laughing together at the register. Surely there must be something not-so-perfect about these home-from-college beautiful young women with perfect teeth and their happy mom.

It doesn’t seem right that it takes hoping that others’ lives aren’t as they seem to make it through the holidays. It’s not that we want people to have rough times or obstacles, and we wish good things for all people every other time of the year. But somehow it helps to think that beneath the $6000 orthodontia smiles there’s at least something that’s out of place.

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