(Photo from the New York Times.)
Well, file this under Things That Make Me Sad. The Post has a story today that the married couple behind the design and decor blog Apartment Therapy are getting a divorce after 10 years and a baby (the family was profiled in the Times twice, the photo above is from 2006 when they welcomed their daughter Ursula into their 265-square-foot apartment).
Of course I don’t actually know these people, and honestly I don’t even read Apartment Therapy that often, but when writers turn their personal lives into their businesses (and seem likeable enough), I find it’s hard not to feel empathetic when they then go through hard times. I mean they’ve quite literally - albeit virtually - let me into their home. Granted the blog is so big now that the aspirational postings profile tons of other people’s covet-worthy apartments and DIY projects (HOME PORN), the premise of the site is that it was born of personal experience. And maybe that’s the problem - if you found a business on the story of your family and then sell your customers on how happy you are and how enviable your lifestyle is, there’s an awful lot of pressure to perform.
A lovely home library, featured on Apartment Therapy. I want all those windows.
Call me gullible, but the news of their split got me down because I love stories of husband-and-wife teams. Being newly married I find myself collecting Couple Idols - power duos who’ve managed to achieve success on all fronts: business, family, adorable kids. These kinds of people are particularly inspiring in New York, where everything feels a little more expensive, a little more stressful, and yet somehow like it should be more attainable since there is so much success all around you.
Plus, as someone who defaults to being a mess and can’t do crafts to save my life, I also idealize people who have achieved Organization (capital letter needed) and lust after photographs of tidy, well-decorated homes and creative home projects I could never dream up myself or execute. All this adds up to the fact that I feel a little sadder today about the durability of marriage and a little more skeptical of all my other Couple Idols who project these shiny, happy, put-together lives. I know it’s silly to try to extrapolate life lessons from tabloid stories about strangers, but it’s hard not to wonder, can anyone really make it? How?