I found myself thinking "This is a problem?" and "I wonder how neglected their children are" (mind you I was reading this at home, WHILE I was neglecting my OWN children in favor of Facebook (they were playing in the other room, but still, HYPOCRISY, thy name is Sue)). And then I started wondering how they got their Big Break, because obviously it must have been luck and not talent or hard work that sent them plunging over the bloggy tipping point.
Basically I was trying to make myself feel better (about not being blog famous, when HELLO, NEWS FLASH, YOU REGULARLY WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BLOG FOR MONTHS AT A TIME you goon) and was indulging in a bunch of envious and ickily catty thoughts.
(My gosh, aren't you just dying to be my best friend right now? I mean - I'm such a nice person! What with the out of control and nonsensical envy of the people who live in my computer!)
(But it's not just them. I have plenty of envy to spread around.)
(Yes, its a post about envy. It's sort of the opposite of a gratitude post. Why be grateful when you can choke on your own envy, that's what I always say!)
I don't mean the harmless kind of "oooooh, I wish I had those pants" kind of envy. I don't wish for people's clothing, or houses, or stuff. I don't wish for their talents or skills. I wish for their good fortune.
- I envy the perceived easiness of their lives and the pleasant solidness of their marriages - even though I know nothing is ever really what it looks like on the surface.
- I envy women who can just - go to Target and buy a bunch of holiday decorations because they feel like it.
- I envy people who go on cruises (and especially women who get SENT on cruises - you know, for work and/or blogging purposes)
- I envy women who have throw pillows, because let's face it, if you have the money to buy throw pillows that pretty much means all of your basic needs have been met.
- I envy stay at home moms, even though I wonder if I would be able to handle being at home full time.
- I envy women who have (what seem to me) only superficial stresses in their lives - like worrying about planning the fall PTA carnival.
- Mostly I envy the wisdom they had to make smarter choices when they were younger.
I'm not drowning in it. It isn't constant. I just think it would be nice if, when I hear about someone's good fortune in an area where I am not personally excelling, if my first response was not a jealous "harumph". That is what I would like. I like to think of myself as a nice person and nice people do not have this as a default emotion, am I right?
When I realize I'm doing it, I try to just - KNOCK IT OFF. But so much of it is unconsciously done. Sometimes I start off feeling just a little wistful, then suddenly I'm feeling the kind of envy where I'm so resentful about someone else's good fortune that I wish somebody would take them down a peg. The kind of envy where I look at someone's perfect life on their blog and feel the urge to leave a snarky comment. (I don't do that. But sometimes I feel the urge.)
(I took most of those kinds of sunshiney lifestyle blogs out of my reader because they were making me crazy. What is the point of comparing yourself to false perfection? Or even real perfection? Nobody's life is a storybook all the time. It's guess it's bloggy escapism and some people enjoy that kind of thing. I've had to realize that I don't. Not at this point in my life anyway. I have no patience for it, and I'm happier when I don't subject myself to it. I feel less envious when I'm not regularly peeking into the lives of women who seem incredibly fortunate.)
But it's something I still struggle with. (I like that word, struggle, because it means I'm fighting against it.) I'm happy for those of you who have already conquered it. Good for you. Please don't tell me all about how you are perfect in this regard or I will be forced, just on principle, to hunt you down and kill you.
(And my gosh, it is so easy to identify it in other people, isn't it? Talk to a few other women who are being catty and jealous for a while and you end up feeling like you need to go home and take a shower because the envy is so obvious and blatant. But I think it's harder when it is just you, inside your head, being a jerk to the other people inside of your head.)
I probably shouldn't be confessing this. Nobody wants to be friends with someone who is petty and envious. (Although, looking on the bright side, in real life I would never actually ADMIT that I was petty and/or envious. In real life I would rather die than admit to feeling anything remotely like that. In real life, around my friends - not necessarily my sisters, they know more of my true nature - I try not to ever indulge in comments about other people that convey anything other than sunshine and good will, because, HELLO, it is something I'm ASHAMED OF.)
But it's also true.
(I feel like putting something really dramatic here like, AND IT STOPS RIGHT NOW, but who am I kidding. It might stop. Sort of. For a day or two. Maybe. Ish.)
(But you know, work in progress.)