Thursday, February 08, 2007

And another thing....

We have another day or two before the wacky crazy female astronaut story leaves our national consciousness. Before it does, her's one more comment on one of the most predictable aspects of this (or any) news story.

According to reporters, Lisa Nowak's neighbors were stunned and shocked to learn of her behavior. That's always the case when it becomes evident that someone in your daily life turns out to be quite different than you imagine them to be. I'm not surprised that this was the reaction of her neighbors.

But here's my larger question, totally separate from the headline du jour: what does anyone really know about the people living up the street? What do any of us really know about each other? Here's the answer, in case you're thinking up a list of things you know. You ready? Nothing. You really don't know anything of substance. People are tricky animals and can hide much much more than we ever give each other credit for.

I'm not saying that we don't open up, we don't trust, we don't tell those closest to us our deepest thoughts. I'm just saying that even at that, there are some things in each one of us that will never be expressed to anyone. Even to a therapist, a priest or a rabbi. And if we have secrets from each other, why in the world would we ever expect our neighbors would know more about us?

I'm guessing if the press spoke to Nowak's husband, he'd agree that there were signs that something wasn't quite right these days. In fact, the couple had recently separated. But I'm guessing even he wouldn't have said it was so she could take her cross-state drive to destiny and the national headlines.

See? Even her husband for god's sake had no idea what she was thinking. And we think it's interesting or newsworthy that her neighbors didn't know?


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