This point is really only a symptom of a deeper and even more common problem Wurtzel displays. She consistently writes as if the joy and happiness of people who “plan for the future,” the married ants rather than bed-hopping grasshoppers, is basically fake. It’s all a lie they tell themselves over the Folger’s coffee, to console themselves for their sacrificed passions. Marriage leads to divorce, “functional love includes a fair amount of falsity,” she imagines the life she could have had and it’s all lies about how talented her husband and children are, “happiness is the untruths we tell each other and ourselves or it would be unbearable.” She adds, “Or is that my untruth?” but honestly, she doesn’t seem to mean it.

Because what’s so weird is that when it comes to her own life she’s able to claim both the misery and the joys as true. She can see that somebody else might view her misery as the more important part, but she doesn’t, and she genuinely believes that the joy is the “really true” part. Why on earth can’t she see that married people do the same thing–only they do it with a better purpose? They aren’t lying. They’re focusing on the part of their complex truth which sustains love. They’re making, often at great cost and with great humility, the choice to focus their attention on the truths which strengthen love and loyalty rather than the truths which might shatter it.