Green-Eyed Monster

Green_Eyed_Monster_by_citrisblossoms

{Image by Citrisblossoms at DeviantART.}

Do you have a part of yourself that you really don’t like?

A part you try to quash regularly but which keeps rearing its ugly head?

The thing I really don’t like about myself is that I am prone to fits of envy with regard to certain people I know. I don’t like it when I do it, I think it is immature and weak-minded; but often, particularly during moments of vulnerability, I succumb to the green-eyed monster.

What started my descent into peevishness was my pair of Doc Martens biker boots. I have had them for over ten years and they are my favourite boots. There is a hole in the sole of the right boot. I went to the cobbler and asked him to replace it with a genuine Doc Martens sole. He said I would have to replace both soles or I would develop a lop-sided walk. To replace both soles would cost two hundred dollars.

I am in a debt-ridden financial situation at the moment. It is all business debt from my husband’s shop. We are both working to clear it and to our credit, have cleared half of it. We expect to be completely debt free within a year, but a lot of things have to be sacrificed to get there. Including boots that cost two hundred dollars to re-sole.

So I plugged up the hole with gaffer tape and went round to my friend Megan’s house for dinner.

I love Megan. She is the kindest, most thoughtful, most decent person I know. We share a love of books and French films among other things. She is one of those people who would drop everything at four in the morning if you needed her to.

But occasionally when I am with Megan the green-eyed monster slips into my psyche like some form of demonic possession.  You see, Megan is rich. I know I shouldn’t care. I know what money really is and what it does, but when you don’t have it, it assumes an importance in your life that it doesn’t deserve.

Megan comes from a wealthy family. So does her husband. She lives in a house worth over two million dollars. She goes on holidays three times a year to places like Paris and Prague. She dresses immaculately. Her house appears comfortably furnished; understated, but you just know that everything is an antique.

Megan never ever brags or big notes herself. She is humble and modest. She readily admits that she has a good life and that she appreciates everything she has. I know all this. I can see she means what she says, but sometimes when the green light lodges itself in my soul, I wish that just for a moment, she could understand, really understand what it is like to struggle.

I feel so bad for thinking like that. She is my friend. A real friend, and I shouldn’t wish anything bad for her. Ever. Yet I think part of the problem with always having it easy it that it can become difficult for you to conceive that other people sometimes find themselves  wedged between a rock and a hard place.

Megan and I had a fight last year that almost turned into a serious falling out. She had booked a holiday house for a week for us and three other families. It was a luxurious, waterfront place with its own jetty. We couldn’t afford to go. A measly five hundred dollars held us back. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t afford five hundred dollars so I engineered this story that I wasn’t really fond of one of the families going and I couldn’t possibly spend a whole week with them.

To my horror, Megan confronted the other family, asking them what they had done to upset me. It was a nightmare. I had no choice but to come clean and tell her I was broke. The entire incident put a huge strain on our friendship, but it taught me an important lesson – it is always best to be honest. Don’t be ashamed of your life. Present it as it is. Dignity is important. Especially when you’re skint.

I don’t like envy. It is an ugly emotion. There is nothing to be gained from it but further resentment. Your lot is your lot. It is up to you whether or not you make the choice to try and change it.

I am going to make a conscious choice to crush that green-eyed monster that lurks within me. No more wishing I could live the life Megan does. My life is one of the few things I can call my very own. And there’s something to be said for that.

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18 thoughts on “Green-Eyed Monster

  1. I know what you mean about the boots … I have a pair of Timberland loafers I’ve had since 1991. When the sole started coming detached, the cobbler quoted me more than the shoes were worth to fix them.

    But, a tube of Copydex only cost £1, and I still have the shoes.

    As far as the financial thing goes, I am always afraid of saying or doing something that will annoy, patronise or embarrass anyone not so well-fixed … because I remember a time when I used to refuse drinks because I couldn’t afford to get a round in when my turn came.

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  2. The only thing I envy are people who seem to have vacation after vacation. For a number of reasons, Joe and I have not had that luxury in too many years. Vacations, I envy. People in general, I don’t. I know I am so blessed, in so many ways.

    It’s too bad your friend couldn’t have helped financially re: your trip. That would have been a nice gesture I think. If she’s that rich, what’s a few hundred dollars. And what better than to help a friend out. I wouldn’t have appreciated having this other family involved either. Ouch!!! 😦

    I am so glad you are getting out of your financial situation in a good way Sel, that’s wonderful. And what a wonderful feeling it is to be debt free. We are and wow, it’s such a relief!

    Hugs, G

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  3. You have walked us through a very honest process and shared a great lesson in honesty and dignity with us. Thank-you for sharing this, there is much value in what you have written.

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  4. and strange tho it may seem i am sure that there are things about you and or your life megan envies as well… we are all subject to wanting that which we do not have material or otherwise…..

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  5. Money does become a lot more important when you don’t have any. And, I think it’s totally natural to feel a touch of envy now and then, as long as you don’t let it consume you.

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  6. we all have vices. they drive us crazy. be good to yourself…but what loyalty for your friend to confront the other family whom she thought was hurting you….i envy that type of loyalty…..

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  7. I tend to avoid people I envy. I find that there are some people far more fortunate than me I don’t envy at all because of our relationship, but the ones I envy, I tend to envy because there is something about the way they treat me, or act about their social status, even if it is not overt, even if it is very subtle. But that’s just me.

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  8. “A part you try to quash regularly but which keeps rearing its ugly head?” Hmm, I envy your ability to never succumb to the obvious rude joke, a temptation I, unfortunately, cannot resist.

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  9. TRAVELRAT:
    I have done the same thing. many people think I’m just being tight when I say I can’t afford things. It’s the curse of the Scottish person. 😉

    GERALDINE:
    Can’t way for DFD (debt free day). I will literally be dancing in the streets. Megan would have paid for me but I just wouldn’t accept. I don’t want to go down that road. It usually ends in tears. Hope you get a nice holiday soon.

    TOBEME:
    Thank you. I do think it’s important to recognise one’s faults. How can we improve if we don’t acknowledge our failings? And those seven deadly sins – they’re hard to avoid!

    PAISLEY:
    You know, it’s true. Megan has said to me that she envies my attitude and my resilience. So I guess envy isn’t always just about the material things.

    MAMA ZEN;
    I’ve seen that happen. Friendships fall apart over money. Family relationships too where one family member feels more hard done by than another. it is ugly. I want to avoid that kind of thing at all costs.

    THE HURRICANE:
    Absolutely. I was blown away when she did that. I also wished Harry Potter was real and that I could borrow his cloak of invisibility….

    QUERULOUS:
    You are spot on with that observation. Some of Megan’s friends are worth envying with regard to all the stuff they have but there is a subtle smugness and sense of superiority about them that is very off putting. ‘Lording it,’ my husband calls it.I know exactly what you mean.

    PAUL:
    OMG. I just got it. Not only am I envious, I am vague as well. 😆

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  10. >>when I say I can’t afford things<<

    Usually, when I say this, it’s something I can afford, but pretty low on my list of priorities, and I’d rather spend my money on something higher on the list.

    But, how to say this concisely?

    In my youth, I often got called a tight-assed Yorkshire git … something I took grave exception to, because I’m from Lancashire!

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  11. I think we’re all jealous of envy from time to time. Hard to keep it in check.

    I have so many flaws they’d kill the bandwidth… 🙂

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  12. TRAVELRAT:
    People are always confusing Lancashire and Yorkshire. I have met people who even fight over what goes into a hot pot. You’re not reputed to be quite as tight as the Scots, though. We win the prize for that!

    NAT:
    I agree. It’s just human nature, really. I am with you, hon. If I listed my flaws it’d cause a system crash. Yikes!

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  13. >> I have met people who even fight over what goes into a hot pot.<<

    Ee, by gum, lass!

    I think every lady in Lancashire has a different recipe for hot pot. F’r instance, my grandmother would only use mutton, and lots of basil … my moher would rather stick pins in her eyes than use herbs of any kind.

    There used to be a joke:

    Q. What’s the difference between a Lancashire hot-pot and a Cumberland tatie-pot?
    A. The Cumberland recipe starts ‘First, steal a sheep … ‘

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  14. Um. Wow. I do THE SAME THING with one of my friends.

    But, in my case, I don’t think she “deserves” all of the “things” she gets so easily. And I hate that I go “without” while busting my butt, and she just does nothing.

    I HATE that I am so envious of her, because I have NO RIGHT to be that envious, but much like you, sometimes I just cant help how I feel.

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  15. I totally get this post. Money which was not a problem at all for my family for over 25 years became an issue in the year 2000. It still is a problem at times but I can’t get the things I want (which aren’t major) nor can I afford to go on trips for holiday. I’ve been spending my yearly vacation at home. I can’t afford to move out and also give some money to my folks. That is what I envy people. Simple things like your own place. To decorate it (I don’t like expensive clutter so my decoration will be cheaper but more meaningful things).

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  16. TRAVELRAT:
    Oh, I love that. I have heard those debates. It is hilarious. You wouldn’t think the recipes could be so different, but they are. I so love all of your stories. I wish you would write a book about them!

    MELEAH:
    I know what it’s like. Some people just seem to have everything with very little effort involved. It is hard not to be resentful at times, especially if they don’t seem to appreciate what they have. I know I shouldn’t be jealous but sometimes I just can’t help it.

    ROSHAN:
    I sympathise. Situations like that can be very hard. Times are tough. So many people work incredibly long hours for very little in return. It can become easy to get trapped. I hope things improve for you one day. You deserve it!

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