It occurs to me that she is not unique--that all women compare lives. We are aware of whose husband works more, who helps more around the house, who makes more money, who is having more sex. We compare our children, taking note of who is sleeping through the night, eating their vegetables, minding their manners, getting into the right schools. We know who keeps the best house, throws the best parties, cooks the best meals, has the best tennis game. We know who among us is the smartest, has the fewest lines around her eyes, has the best figure--whether naturally or artificially. We are aware of who works full-time, who stays at home with the kids, who manages to do it all and make it look easy, who shops and lunches while the nanny does it all. We digest it all and then discuss with our friends. Comparing and then confiding; it is what women do.The difference, I think, lies in why we do it. Are we doing it to gauge our own life and reassure ourselves that we fall within the realm of normal? Or are we being competitive, relishing others' shortcomings so that we can win, if only by default?
Songs and smells will bring you back to a moment in time more than anything else. It's amazing how much can be conjured with a few notes of a song or a solitary whiff of a room. A song you didn't even pay attention to at the time, a place that you didn't even know had a particular smell. I wonder what will someday bring back Dex and our few months together. Maybe the sound of Dido's voice. Maybe the scent of the Aveda shampoo I've been using all summer.