What I Read This Week - 19th May

Warm and green here; time speeds up at this time of year and it feels like we're careening into summer. - Is a Baby a Luxury? (Mira Ptacin at Guernica)

I immediately called the department—surely they must have looked over the fact that I was carrying an unborn child who needed medical care, and couldn’t afford to purchase health insurance—but my explanation was greeted with a dry, breathy laugh, followed by, “Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you get healthcare.”

If the United States truly prides itself on family values, why is it nearly impossible for so many of us to care for our family, starting with the most basic care of all?

When I first moved to England people on both sides of the Atlantic used to ask me what I liked best about living here, and I would respond, in a sort of joking voice, "the NHS!", but, really, that's my answer, or one of my answers, anyway.

- Everything in This City Must (Alexander Chee at The Morning News)

In both situations, Dustin’s status as my domestic partner, certified by the city of New York, counted toward his immigration status with the German government, and despite gay marriage per se not being legal here in Germany, I could include him; he could be with me. You could almost call it a small thing except that he is half of my life.

I think of it again as I sit on the Lufthansa flight lowering itself into Newark airport, and fill out the U.S. State Department visitor card. I sit beside him on the plane and next to the question “How many members of your family are you traveling with?” I write “0,” because our relationship isn’t recognized that way by federal law, and can’t be.

The legal protection the German government gave our American relationship is gone, now that we are back in America.

- On a Personality Trait (Jean Hannah Edelstein)

It reminds you that probably the reason you left, or the reason you’ve stayed away for so long, is that it can feel easier not to fit in to a place where you’re not from, than to feel that you didn’t fit in to the place that you are.

Short, but good - and very apropos of certain themes in the two articles highlighted above, too.

- Feels Blind (Emily Gould)

What made my first year of full-time freelancing so happy, besides not ever having to ride the subway during rush hour, wasn’t anything specific about what my workdays were like. I wasn’t accomplishing much, I was wasting a lot of time, and a lot of the time I was bored. Most days, my work did not go well and I felt dejected about my actual writing. But I still felt good and hopeful, because all these potential paths seemed possible. Everything seemed possible.