Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Yesterday afternoon, I was listening to NPR, when they were running a story called Remembering Karen Carpenter. Yesterday was the 30 year anniversary of her death. Karen Carpenter is usually thought of as the female half of the Popular 70's group "The Carpenters," in which she performed with her brother Richard. I knew that Karen suffered for a long time from anorexia nervosa and that complications of the disorder ultimate caused her death. What I didn't know is that she was also childless not by choice. Apparently, she married a man who, after their wedding, told her that he had had a vascectomy. She apparently suffered from emotional problems and this seems to have worsened them. She could control what she ate and what she weighed, even if she could not control her other problems. It made me wonder how things would have turned out now. This all happened in the late seventies and early eighties and, while women were beginning to make their voices heard, there were not the kind of support groups and blogs and talking about women's issues then, like there is now. Would she have found solice in knowing that she had options, that she was not alone in being CNBC, that she was adored by so many. We will never know. But today, thirty years and a day after her death, I can say that I hear her voice much differently than I used to and mourn along with her.